Tag Archives: Cricket

Baseball vs Cricket Averages

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So I decided to go ahead and try and create my baseball style averages for cricket, reverse engineering Henry Chadwick‘s conversion of the key cricketing statistic to baseball, to try and get a sense of a batsman’s worth from something beyond their average. The average is an incredibly useful tool in cricket, but I guess there are a few others which are starting to gain some currency. Strike rate, particularly in the short form of the game, is key, but conversion rate (the number of times a half century becomes a century) is perhaps underweighted when the worth of a batsmen is considered.

It forms part of the following numbers, anyway, though more by inference than a direct comparison. I think the most useful way of conceptualising this is that the first number reflects the rate at which a batsman scores over fifty (regardless of whether they went on to a century), the second the frequency with which they score a century. The closer the numbers, the better their conversion rate.The final number is their batting average.

Like baseball, it’s rendered as a decimal figure, with 1.000 being perfect, that a batsmen scores fifty or better every time they bat. What’s interesting about the numbers is how well they tally with baseball, that the best bastmen of our time have a score of consequence roughly one in every three times they head out to bat. I’ve taken a random smattering of the great batsmen of our time, plus a few noteworthy New Zealanders. Obviously Ryder’s numbers are skewed at the moment, but they back up the extremely favourable impression we have of him. Anyway, here they are…

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The Ultimate Current XI

Not on my watch...

Not on my watch...

Tonight’s match in Adelaide (man we must be low-rating to be playing on a Tuesday!) looms ominously over the Black Caps. While we’re 2-1 up in the series and gave the Australians an almighty fright with only 10 1/2 men in Sydney, there’s something about giving Ponting’s team a glimmer of light that bothers me immensely.

A friend emailed me today wracked by similar ill-feeling, but also suggested we post an ultimate currently-playing Black Caps XI, then allow for readers to respond. So that’s what we’re doing.

Under normal circumstances, you’d think that barring a couple of contentious decisions you’d go with the current side, but these are not normal circumstances. The premature retirements of the Bracewell era and the enforced divisions of IPL/ICL debacle have scattered a generation of cricketers to the four winds, and injuries have done for the rest.

Our criteria for selection is that a player must be currently active, ie playing the game professionally, and we’re picking them on a combination of form and pedigree. They don’t have to be in the nick of their lives, but should be in reasonable shape at least. Here, then, is my wishlist XI: Continue reading

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A Tour For the Ages

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You have to give credit to Australia. This afternoon’s victory, with a ragtag team of passable cricketers, a couple of debutants and only Ponting as an all-time great was testament to the sheer willpower that resides in the Australian cricket team. They really had no right to win that game, with only the sublime Bracken threatening as a bowler, but they scrambled and grafted and never let their quarry get away, and got a well-deserved victory out of it.

It was a fascinating game of cricket, with each side cruising to unassailable dominance at various stages, only for the other to mount an improbable fight back. When Australia were 1/150 inside of 30 overs, with Ponting batting near a run a ball, 350 was a fair target, so for South Africa to pull them back to 249, thanks to another fine spell from Steyn, and brilliant discipline during the power plays should have set the game. Likewise Kallis and De Villiers had the game in the bag at 2/140, but couldn’t take it home.

That South Africa lost was, in my opinion largely due to Duminy, until today the young hero of the South African side, inexplicably getting stuck in the middle of an otherwise perfectly weighted innings. How do you blame a guy who got 35 at better than a run a ball? Continue reading

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. 3 2 1 4 4 | . 2 1 4 1 1 | 1 2 6 2 1 1


The above numbers are the West Indies last three overs, pure, raw, hopeless pain for New Zealand. I was listening to Brian Waddle and co on Radio Sport while driving today, at about 28 overs and 120/2, talking up New Zealand’s chances, and I just shook my head. How could they possibly be comforted by Chanderpaul and Gayle at the crease, regardless of the runrate. With our gamely inadequate attack.
I never foresaw anything quite as horrific as this. They’re cruising to 300, and this series looks a forlorn hope unless we can dislodge one of these slabs of granite from the crease. Continue reading

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. 3 2 1 4 4 | . 2 1 4 1 1 | 1 2 6 2 1 1


The above numbers are the West Indies last three overs, pure, raw, hopeless pain for New Zealand. I was listening to Brian Waddle and co on Radio Sport while driving today, at about 28 overs and 120/2, talking up New Zealand’s chances, and I just shook my head. How could they possibly be comforted by Chanderpaul and Gayle at the crease, regardless of the runrate. With our gamely inadequate attack.
I never foresaw anything quite as horrific as this. They’re cruising to 300, and this series looks a forlorn hope unless we can dislodge one of these slabs of granite from the crease. Continue reading

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A Don At The Cricket

Images from the Boxing Day Twenty20 at Eden Park by Duncan Greive and Justin Warren. Words excerpted from The Godfather by Mario Puzo.
Michael often thought of Kay, of her smile, her body…

Michael often thought of Kay, of her smile, her body…

He was built as powerfully as a bull, and it was common knowledge that he was so generously endowed by nature that his martyred wife feared the marriage bed as unbelievers once feared the rack.

He was built as powerfully as a bull, and it was common knowledge that he was so generously endowed by nature that his martyred wife feared the marriage bed as unbelievers once feared the rack.

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Bio-Logy: Mad As I Wanna Be

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Danny Morrison’s Mad As I Wanna Be was released in 1997, when Morrison had recently been dropped from the Black Caps, a situation which hangs heavy throughout. There’s no ghost-writer credited, but I presume one was involved, because it’s relatively readable and well-organised, unlike his too-often inane commentary. Ultimately the post-career bio stands or falls based on the intrinsic character of the subject. Unfortunately Morrison, while a solid, occasionally very good cricketer, is just not that interesting.

Which is not to say there aren’t some tremendously entertaining elements to this book. Firstly, it’s called Mad As I Wanna Be. Seriously. This from one of the most prosaic cricketers ever to represent New Zealand. Dennis Rodman’s autobiography is called Bad As I Wanna Be, curiously published three months after Morrison’s (did he steal the title? DeadBall wants answers), and its opening line is “On an April night in 1993 I sat in my pickup truck with a rifle in my lap, deciding whether to kill myself.” Rodman was openly bisexual, headbutted a referee and kicked an opponent in the groin. He earned that title. Morrison, meanwhile is chiefly remembered these days for purportedly snitching on his team-mates regarding their marijuana use while on tour in South Africa. MAD?!?! Not so much.

On the other hand he is pictured with an umbrella in the pool on the cover, and it’s not entirely clear whether he’s wearing any pants. So there is that. Continue reading

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