County Championship: Know your squads – Part I


County Championship: Know your squads – Part I

Rob Johnston • Last updated on Mon, 03 Apr, 2017, 12:20 AM

Essex won Division Two last season © Getty


Last season: 9th in Division Two

It has been all change at Derbyshire over the winter with Kim Barnett, installed as the club’s new Director of Cricket, wasting no time in putting his mark on things. It was clear that something had to be done: Derbyshire finished bottom of the County Championship without a win last season.

There is genuine hope for better this time out, though, much of it due to an influx of players which has given the squad a depth it lacked last year. Ireland’s Gary Wilson, signed from Surrey, and a trio of South Africans, Imran Tahir, Hardus Viljoen and Daryn Smit, the latter two on Kolpak deals, have all arrived and will add much needed experience and quality to the squad.

The signings of Tahir and Viljoen in particular, will give captain Billy Goddleman a cutting edge that Derbyshire lacked last season when they garnered the least bowling bonus points of any county. Throw in young leg-spinner Matt Critchley, who spent the winter in Sydney working with Stuart MacGill, and reliable fast bowler Tony Palladino and the attack has a decent look to it.

Barnett has also introduced a revamped coaching structure which will see Goddleman and the players effectively managing the Championship and 50-over teams without a head coach. The hope is that this will force the players to take more responsibility for the success of the side. For the T20 campaign, John Wright has been hired as a specialist coach.

Despite the improvements to the squad, expectations should be tempered with a dose of realism. Come the end of the season, Derbyshire are unlikely to be in the mix for promotion but they should fare better than last year and pick up a few wins along the way. After a harrowing campaign last season, that should be regarded as success in itself.


Last season: 4th in Division One (enforced relegation by ECB due to financial failings)

The sanctions placed on Durham by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for financial failings were intended to act as a warning to other counties but they are clearly punitive. Not only will Durham be playing in Division Two this season, they will start with a 48-point penalty.

Typically, Durham have faced their situation with stoicism. Ian Botham has been appointed as chairman and has been bullish in his still targeting promotion while Keaton Jennings, Ben Stokes and Mark Wood have all remained with the county when they could have been tempted elsewhere.

Durham could not, however, hang on to everyone. Mark Stoneman and Scott Borthwick, both of whom scored over 1,000 Championship runs last season, have moved to Surrey, which leaves the batting looking short. Much will be expected of Jennings, although he should be with England for much of the Test match summer, and captain Paul Collingwood.

The additions of Test batsmen South African Stephen Cook and New Zealander Tom Latham as overseas players will also certainly help plug some of the gap and young Jack Burnham will have to step up as well.

Conversely, the bowling looks strong with Wood, Graham Onions and Chris Rushworth all top-class operators and young left-arm seamer James Weighall showing glimpses of potential. Spinner Ryan Pringle will hope to do better than last year’s disappointing showing, particularly as Durham will be without Borthwick’s leg-spin.

Despite the points penalty and departures, Durham certainly have the class and character to challenge for promotion this season. The strength of their bowling attack should be too good for many of the sides in Division Two and this will give them every chance of reclaiming their position in the top flight at the first time of asking.


Last season: 1st in Division Two

After a fine season last year, Essex will be an unknown quantity in their first appearance in the top flight since 2010. A group of young cricketers have to prove themselves capable of performing against better teams, but in Nick Browne, Jamie Porter, Dan Lawrence and Aaron Beard together with Tom Westley, Essex have a strong nucleus of homegrown talent.

They have also recruited well. Varun Chopra and Adam Wheater, two players with top-flight experience, have arrived, as has top-class South African spinner Simon Harmer on a Kolpak deal. Add in New Zealand fast-bowler Neil Wagner as an overseas player for the start of the season and Essex’s squad looks deeper and stronger than for many a year.

Importantly, Alastair Cook will also be available until July and should play nine or ten Championship games in all. The former England Test captain will be relied on, together with the experienced duo of Ravi Bopara and captain Ryan ten Doeschate, to help the younger batsmen adjust to the greater intensity and quality of Division One’s attacks.While the batting is clearly Essex’s strength, the bowling attack looks perhaps short of another fast bowler. Porter, 23, who has 121 first-class wickets at 27.73, and Matt Dixon will lead the attack with Wagner and Beard and Paul Walter will also have opportunities. Harmer’s spin will be important on the better pitches of Division One but whether Essex can take 20 wickets regularly remains to be seen.

The first target of coach Chris Silverwood will be to avoid relegation but if they have a good start and Cook finds form, they may spring a surprise towards the top half of the division. For the likes of Westley and Browne, a stellar season could also see them pushing for England spots. The future at Chelmsford looks particularly bright.


Last season: 8th in Division Two

On paper, last season was a pretty dismal one for Glamorgan. They finished second-bottom in Division Two and won just three games all year. Worse than that, they lost half of their Championship games.

Yet there were signs that the county may be about to have a decent period. A group of excellent young batsmen in Aneurin Donald, David Lloyd and Will Bragg announced themselves with some standout innings even if the consistency required at first-class level was somewhat lacking. These three have the ability to be the heart of Glamorgan’s batting for a decade.

In the bowling department, there was perhaps less to shout about even though Tim van der Gugten and Michael Hogan shared 105 Championship wickets between them. Spinner Andrew Salter has not kicked on and Graham Wagg and Craig Meschede failed to deliver in any consistent way and will need to do better. Young seamer Lukas Carey should get more opportunities this term after impressing in limited opportunities so far.

Hopes for a better 2017 will depend largely on the inexperienced batting line-up finding more consistency, which will need captain Jacques Rudolph, who averaged under 25 last season, in form, and the back-up bowlers giving Hogan and van der Gugten more support. There is plenty of talent in the squad but they need to deliver on a more regular basis.

Eight losses in 16 games last year suggests a lack of fight when the going got tough but it was largely due to a lack of experience amongst a young squad, one further depleted this season by the retirement of Dean Cosker after 20 years. They will be better for it and although a mid-table finish, and no more, is likely this term, Glamorgan are moving in the right direction.


Last season:6th in Division Two

Gloucestershire started their outdoor season earlier than any other county, playing Oxford University on 16th March, and coach Richard Dawson hopes this will give them the ability to start well in the first four games, matches he has targeted as setting the tone for their first-class campaign. There has been no overhaul of the squad despite a middling Championship season last year with only four wins from their 16 games. Experienced wicket-keeper batsman Phil Mustard has joined from Durham and Australian Cameron Bancroft will replace fellow Western Australian Michael Klinger who will only play limited-overs cricket for Gloucestershire this season.

Dawson wants his current group to step up more consistently than last summer, something that will be even more important without Klinger, who averaged over 70 last season, and Hamish Marshall who has retired. Much will be expected of Chris Dent, who scored three Championship hundreds last year, and Graeme van Buuren to replace those runs.

The bowling attack looks marginally the stronger suit with fast bowlers Craig Miles, Liam Norwell and David Payne all proven performers and young Josh Shaw, 21, having plenty of promise too. If Gloucestershire can score enough runs, that attack should have enough about it to take 20 wickets although they do lack a spinner of note for when the pitches firm up in mid-summer.

Gloucestershire may have to settle for a mid-table finish once again in the Championship. Their squad looks more suited to one-day cricket and lacking in four-day class which shouldn’t trouble the better sides. They do have enough about them though to pick up a few wins along the way.


Last season: 8th in Division One (retained top flight status due to Durham’s relegation)

Whatever the wrongs or rights of Durham’s relegation, Hampshire, the beneficiaries, are keen to focus on putting right a season they felt should never have seen them relegated anyway. They lost just four games in 2016 but drew ten which ultimately saw them finish just below Lancashire and, until Durham’s demotion, headed towards Division Two.

This year, the Hampshire squad has a stronger look to it than last season which has given them hope of being involved at the top end this time out. Michael Carberry has returned after a battle with cancer and Reece Topley is also back fit after missing most of the year with injury. James Vince, away with England for much of last summer, will also likely be around far more.

Added to those three has been some canny recruitment. Two high-class South Africans, Kyle Abbot and Rilee Rossouw, have arrived on Kolpak deals and George Bailey will fulfil the overseas duties and captain the team in Championship cricket. Highly thought of young all-rounder Asher Hart has also arrived from Durham.

Throughout the squad there is strength and experience. Liam Dawson, fresh from an impressive Test debut, and Mason Crane, recently selected for New South Wales after a stellar season in grade cricket, are two good spinners and fast bowler Brad Wheal and batsman Tom Alsop, who spent his winter with the England Lions, are two highly promising cricketers. Jimmy Adams and Will Smith lend further experience to the batting line-up.

Whether Hampshire have enough staying power to challenge the best teams over the course of a season is the biggest question mark this year. Too often last season, they lost big moments in games which was one reason why they won just two matches all season. With the extra class of Topley and Abbot in the bowling attack and more batting depth too, Hampshire could well be the surprise package this season.


Last season: 2nd in Division Two

In any other season, Kent would have achieved their goal of promotion to Division One of the Championship last year. With the restructuring of the top division to include just eight teams only one side was promoted which left Kent rueing their misfortune at finishing second behind Essex.

Sam Northeast’s team look well placed to be there or thereabouts this time round and should benefit from some limited but shrewd recruitment. Young batsman Joe Weatherley, on loan from Hampshire, and all-rounder Will Gidman, signed from Nottinghamshire, have arrived to complement a talented squad.

Sam Billings is one of England’s brightest prospects and will add much to the squad once finished at the IPL and opening batsman Daniel Bell-Drummond starred for the England Lions in their recent one-day series with Sri Lanka. Fast bowler Matt Coles is perhaps the best quick bowler in the second division and experienced duo Darren Stevens and James Tredwell still have plenty to offer.

It’s also a pivotal season for Northeast himself, described by new coach Matt Walker this week as the best captain in county cricket. Fresh from a hundred during the recent North-South series in the UAE, Northeast is starting to get the recognition with the national selectors that he deserves. Leading Kent to promotion will do his cause no harm.

If there is one area where Kent will look to do better than last season, it is converting handy positions into wins. Eight draws last year was perhaps two too many and much will depend this campaign on whether Coles, Gidman and Tredwell are able to bowl sides out regularly. The bowling attack does look short of another high-class fast bowler.

With Durham and Nottinghamshire both looking strong after relegation from the top flight, Kent will not have it all their own way this season. They do, however, have an experienced and deep squad and the shrewd Northeast at the helm which should see them challenging for promotion at the end of the season.


Last season: 7th in Division One

Lancashire approach this season with a good mix of young potential and experienced campaigners within their squad. Last summer’s seventh placed finish, narrowly avoiding relegation, was not what a club of Lancashire’s size expects but nevertheless was a good result for a squad dominated by young, inexperienced players.

One of those, Haseeb Hameed, made his Test debut for England and another, Liam Livingstone, may not be far away either after a fine winter with the Lions. Rob Jones, Saqib Mahmood and Matt Parkinson were others who shone at various stages and all of them with be better for the experience of last year.

New coach Glen Chapple has recognised the need for some experience to complement the youthful talent and has recruited well. South African wicket-keeper Dane Villas and West Indian batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul have been signed on Kolpak deals and Villas’ fellow South African Ryan McLaren will be the club’s overseas player.

James Anderson will also lead the attack in early season and should be available for more games than last summer even if the England management will want to keep him fit and fresh for a rigorous programme of Test matches over the next year. Anderson will form a high-class new-ball partnership with Kyle Jarvis.

It is unlikely Lancashire will be challenging at the top of the table but nor is it certain they will be involved in another relegation battle. Without Anderson, the attack looks short of class and depth but if experienced players like Chanderpaul, Villas and McLaren can add some nous and backbone to the abundant skill and talent of Lancashire’s homegrown youngsters, they may have a decent year.


Last season: 7th in Division Two

Leicestershire’s four Championship victories last season were further confirmation of progress in four-day cricket after winless campaigns in 2013 and 2014 but it is too soon to yet expect them to be challenging at the top of the division.

New coach Pierre de Bruyn, who replaced Andrew McDonald after he returned to Australia, will have a large squad of 25 players to pick from this season which means competition for places will be high. Whether there is enough quality, however, particularly in the batting, remains to be seen.

Some decent players have arrived over the winter to add more depth. South African’s Colin Ackerman and Dieter Klein have been recruited on EU passports while all-rounder James Burke has arrived on loan from Surrey and seamer Gavin Griffiths has joined from Lancashire. Australian Mark Cosgrove will captain the side and his compatriot Clint McKay will lead the limited overs teams.

Alongside those recruits are a host of young players who have shown glimpses of promise. Adil Ali, Lewis Hill, Harry Dearden and Tom Wells are a quartet of youthful batsmen and Zak Chappell is an all-rounder with plenty of potential but it feels as if much of the run scoring will have to be done by Ackerman, Cosgrove, Neil Dexter and Paul Horton.

The bowling attack will rely on McKay, Ben Raine and Charlie Shrek who combined to take 135 Championship wickets last year. Behind them, though, is little proven depth, even if the recruitment of Griffiths should help. The lack of a frontline spinner hindered Leicestershire last season on good pitches and will likely do so again. Callum Parkinson, 20, signed from Derbyshire, has promise but also a lot to learn.

De Bruyn has spoken of his desire for Leicestershire players to get more out of themselves this season and professes himself impressed with the enthusiasm and commitment he has seen in pre-season. That only goes so far, of course, and although Leicestershire will be competitive this season, they still have work to do before they can think about anything more than a mid-table finish.

© Cricbuzz




IPL 2017: Delhi Daredevils to be without Angelo Mathews for better part of the season

Apart from hamstring injury, Angelo Mathews’ return will be delayed by calf strain. (Source: Reuters/File) Apart from hamstring injury, Angelo Mathews’ return will be delayed by calf strain. (Source: Reuters/File)

The Delhi Daredevils are unlikely to get the services of Sri Lankan all-rounder Angelo Mathews for the better part of IPL as he is yet to recover fully from his hamstring injury.

Mathews is not a part of the Sri Lankan T20 side that will host Bangladesh in a two-match T20 series starting April 4 in Colombo.

Apart from hamstring injury, Mathews’ return will be delayed by calf strain.

“At this stage I think I can say Angelo will not play the T20s,” SLC cricket manager Asanka Gurusinha told ESPN Cricinfo.

“The IPL will be affected because he has to wait for the physio and the trainer to give him the green light. He has to be 100 percent fit. Angelo has to make that call with the physio, because if he’s not 100 percent fit, we will not let him go.”

SLC is reluctant to release Mathews unless he has fully recovered because they would like him to be available for the Champions Trophy in the UK in June.

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What do Russian-Americans think of President Trump? [Video]

By Sarah B. Boxer

Brighton Beach, N.Y., home to one of the largest Russian-American communities, is known as “Little Russia.” What do local residents think of President Trump and his alleged ties to Vladimir Putin?

At Gourmanoff, a bustling market along Brighton Beach’s main drag, Yahoo News and Finance Anchor Bianna Golodryga finds a mixed (grocery) bag.

“We love him,” says Kzenia. “Because my parents are still in Russia, and we do think that he’s going to be better for the U.S.”

“He obviously hasn’t delivered on anything he’s promised so far, everything has been more of a show than actual governing,” Michael tells Golodryga.

And Russian president Vladimir Putin?

“He’s very smart,” says Lina. “He’s doing what he’s supposed to do.”

What about accusations that Putin has murdered journalists and stifled democracy?

Golodryga asks Alan, a lawyer. “I can only quote our president, who had an interview with Fox News, and when he was asked about Putin, he said that we are not so innocent either,” he responds.

“What do you think about U.S.-Russian relations and the fact that they’re strained now?” Golodryga asks. “It will get better, because the United States and Russia are neighbors,” Alan responds, citing Russia’s proximity to Alaska. “Since we are neighbors, it’s destiny, and you can’t change destiny.”


9 leadership skills that one can learn from Virat Kohli

The first words that come to mind when you think of Indian cricket skipper Virat Kohli are: winning and aggression. Kohli is less enigmatic than his predecessor Mahendra Singh Dhoni, but more outgoing in approach.

He wears his heart on his sleeve, but rarely lets it get the better of him. Even Dhoni feels that the Indian team under Kohli ‘should win games more than any other captain or team has won’.

After leading India in his first 25 Tests, Kohli has been the nation’s most successful Test captain. He has 16 wins under his belt, just behind Steve Waugh’s 18 and Ricky Ponting’s 17.

Kohli has an arsenal of leadership traits that can benefit any team leader or entrepreneur.

1. Confidence: Kohli never shies away from taking bold decisions whenever a situation demands it. Often, he has stepped up to salvage an unlikely win. His exuberance and confidence are infectious. Also, having the confidence to back your winning attitude can take you leagues ahead in the organizational game.

2. Leading by example: There are two ways to lead a team: by your words or by your actions. Kohli and his teammates know that he is the best, which drives everyone in the team to reach the benchmark he has set for the rest. The fissures within a team widen when the leader takes a back seat, thinking that his juniors will do the hard work.

3. Staying focussed: Kohli hasn’t let the pride of leading Team India get the better of him. He has handled this challenge far better that even greats like Sachin Tendulkar. “Captaincy does not allow you to be complacent at any stage especially with the bat if that is your only discipline in the game, in the field as well. In that aspect I think complacency goes out of the window as captain. You tend to focus a lot more on certain situations,” he says.

4. Versatility: Versatility and adaptability are the key to longevity in any discipline. Kohli’s consistency across all three formats of the game is phenomenal. When asked about his transformation from a hotheaded bloke to a mature player, he said: “I was working on those things already on a constant basis with Anil Kumble (Indian Head Coach). I wanted to learn from my mistakes and evolve as a person.”

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Winning away from home will make us better: Mashrafe


Winning away from home will make us better: Mashrafe

• Last updated on Fri, 31 Mar, 2017, 06:23 PM Rex Clementine in Colombo

“People have to understand that the world over away matches are always difficult.” © AFP

Bangladesh have shown clear improvement in their cricket in recent times, but still they have to improve their record away from home. Out of the 158 One-Day Internationals they have played at home, they have won 64, but of the 165 away from home, they have won only 38.

Since the World Cup 2015, they have recorded series wins over India, Pakistan, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Afghanistan. But there have been fewer opportunities for them overseas. Prior to their current tour of Sri Lanka, the only ODI series they have played away since 2015 is the three-match ODI series against New Zealand in December last year, where they were whitewashed 3-0. However, Bangladesh have a fine opportunity to set that record straight on Saturday (April 1) where they go into the third and final ODI against Sri Lanka in Colombo with a 1-0 lead.

“We will become a truly good team only when we also start winning away,” Mashrafe Mortaza, Bangladesh’s captain, said on the eve of the match on Friday (March 31). “We have won a Test match and an ODI here. So, the progress will not happen all at once. In away matches, for example, we had no clue about the Dambulla wicket – it was supposedly new. We played here a long time ago. So it is difficult to adjust to these things; it will change slowly.

“People have to understand that the world over away matches are always difficult. If you see recent Test matches, Australia are playing in India and all the teams who are playing in India, it is difficult for them. And when India visit other countries, it becomes difficult for them too. So when other teams come to Bangladesh we play well. This is the reality,” he added.

Bangladesh were lucky to escape in the second ODI after Sri Lanka looked set to square the series having posted a huge 311 before rain washed out proceedings. No team has successfully chased a total in excess of 300 in Sri Lanka, but a heavy downpour rained on Sri Lanka’s parade as the game had to be abandoned, leaving Bangladesh in a position where they cannot lose the series.

“History has always changed. History is made to change. I think they batted really well. Credit should go to them. But from our point we were very confident because the wicket was really good. But as you said, history says that it is very difficult. But we knew that if there were good partnerships, it was gettable because of the wicket. Our boys have been really positive; that was nice to see from the dressing room.”

Mashrafe, however, admitted that Bangladesh had conceded too many runs in the second ODI. “In the last match, they scored 300. Obviously the wicket was very good, but maybe we have to try to minimize 20-25 runs from that. Where they can score 300, we have to keep it to 280. So if we can do something like that the task will become easier for us. As I said, we have to play according to the plan, otherwise it will be difficult,” he said.

© Cricbuzz




All Your Favorites Are Back to Premiere the Third Season of ‘Better Call Saul’

Bob Odenkirk, Johnthan Banks, and Rhea Seehorn were all back to at the premiere of the third season of AMC’s Better Call Saul in Culver City.

The third season of Better Call Saul premieres on AMC on Monday, April 10 at 10/9c.

For a complete gallery of pictures, click here.


Tinder’s Desktop App Encourages You To Have Meaningful Conversations For Better Dating

Ever since its incubation and launch in 2012, Tinder has been smartphone focused. Now, the app’s founders are attempting to bring the dating service to desktops, with a slight twist.

It’s not that Tinder is necessarily easier to use on the smartphone, it’s just that the medium lends itself to the addictive swipe-reward system that games like Candy Crush and Fruit Ninja also use. We like to see immediate results when we swipe, to the point that Tinder has become more of a pastime for a lot of users, rather than a legitimate way to meet new people.

It seems Tinder may have noticed this, or perhaps their design changes are purely coincidental. According to the company’s blog, the reason behind building a web app is to extend their reach to customers with no or intermittent 4G access, or others who don’t have access to a mobile phone through their school or work day. Either way, the app’s desktop platform features a few aesthetic differences, designed to promote more frequent messaging.

What’s the big deal?

While the essential swipe left or right remains, Tinder Online instead has you click and drag with your mouse, or use the arrow keys to choose potential dates. During this process, you still have any ongoing chats displayed in a list on the left side of your screen. The biggest difference, however, is once you match. When that happens, and you click the “Send Message” button, the person’s profile opens up to the side of your chat window.

This does more than just let you look at a pretty face while you chat. Instead, the wider interface allows for you to look at your match’s biography, and form intelligent conversation based on what they say about themselves. In the long run, this could lead to more rewarding dates, as opposed to brusque one-liners to a formless person when your swiping is interrupted.

Tinder Online is currently being tested in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Philippines, and Sweden, alongside a possible SMS login for smartphones in place of Facebook. While the latter feature is meant for countries with patchy data connections, it’s still unclear if the feature will come to India. Tinder Online is expected to release in the US later this year, and will likely spread to other countries worldwide.


Second Trailer For ‘Valerian’ Is All About The Sights

Visually, ‘Valerian and the City of A Thousand Planets’ is going to look gorgeous.

You wouldn’t expect anything less from Director Luc Besson. He created a beautiful world awhile ago in now classic The Fifth Element. Now he has taken the French graphic novel Valérian and Laureline and converted into what will be a fantastic looking film.

The story follows Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and his partner Laureline (Cara Delevingne). The two are space special ops, tasked with making the universe a better place. Now someone has attacked Alpha, the city where everyone and species get along to create a better place. The two has 10 hours to figure out who is trying to destroy paradise. The film also stars Clive Owen, Rihanna, Ethan Hawke, John Goodman and more.

Valerian and the City of A Thousand Planets releases July 21, 2017.


A Better Finder Rename for Mac 10.15

A Better Finder Rename allows users to quickly renamemultiple files. This powerful, yet easy-to-use utility transforms the often tedious and time-consuming task of renaming multiplefiles into a simple matter of seconds.

“A Better Finder Rename” is ideally suited for Macintosh webmasters, users who need totransfer files from Windows or UNIX as well as for all other Macintosh users who deal with large numbers of files.

A Better Finder Rename is the most comprehensive file renaming solution for the Macintosh and transforms the tedious and time-consuming task of renaming multiple files into a simple matter of seconds.

The new version is the result of 10 years of listening to our customers in the digital photography, post-production and content creation domains.

The simple, easy-to-use interface makes it accessible to anyone, but hides an abundance of powerful renaming options.

A Better Finder Rename is the preferred renaming tool of many professional and amateur photographers and has over time grown an impressive array of features dedicated to manipulating sequence numbers (create sequence number lists, add and insert sequence numbers, pad them with 0s, add & substract from the existing numbers) and adding shooting dates & times to picture names.

In these operations you can exploit the shooting date & time extracted from the industry-standard EXIF digital camera meta-data stored in your JPEG, CRW, CR2 or NEF pictures.

Starting with version 7.0, you can combine several rename actions into a multi-step rename. This allows you to perform even the most complex renaming jobs in a single pass.

A Better Finder Rename allows you to create as many rename steps as you require and lets you edit and re-arrange them at will.



Love to play Pokemon GO? It helps you bond with kids better

Pokemon GO is a location-based augmented reality game. (Source: File Photo) Pokemon GO is a location-based augmented reality game. (Source: File Photo)

Parents who regularly play “Pokemon GO” with their children report a number of side benefits including increased exercise, more time spent outdoors and opportunities for family bonding, says a study.

ALSO READ | Watching TV for 3 hours daily may up diabetes risk in kids

Pokemon GO is a location-based augmented reality game in which players capture fictional creatures from the Japanese Pokemon franchise on smartphones and other mobile devices by “finding” them in real-world locations.

“Location-based augmented reality games are pretty different than sitting in front of a TV or playing a typical video game, so we were interested in the way kids and their parents were sharing those experiences together,” said lead author Kiley Sobel from University of Washington.

“People still don’t really know how to build tech that works well for families, so when this game came out of the blue and really caught on, we wanted to look at what its ingredients for success were,” Sobel said.

The results, taken from a qualitative survey of 67 parents and interviews with 20 additional parents playing “Pokémon GO” with their families in the US, are detailed in a paper to be presented at the Association for Computing Machinery’s CHI 2017 conference to be held at Denver, Colorado in May.

Some parents said the interactive and mobile nature of the game made them feel better about engaging in that type of gameplay, as opposed to more sedentary forms of “screen time”, according to the study.

The study did not include perspectives of parents who do not allow their children to play Pokemon GO.

Many parents — particularly moms of boys, fathers of girls and parents of teenaged children — reported spending more quality time with their children as a result of playing “Pokémon GO” together and talking more than usual, both about the game itself and about other things in their lives, the researchers said.

Parents also appreciated how the game motivated both them and their children to go outside and exercise in ways that were convenient and fit into their lives, as their children displayed newfound enthusiasm for walking the dog or walking rather than driving to dinner or playgrounds.

For some participants, these “Poké-walks” led to walking thousands more steps per day, the study said.

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