Friday, 16 January 2009

Stew & Pid

- The Board of Control for Cricket in India has come out against the Reliance Mobile ICC Rankings.

- Great, they must be thinking sabermetrically!

- Well, no, they are against it because the list of batsmen only has Sachin Tendulkar at 26.

- Oh, I see. That's not very clever. Still, how do the rankings work? Maybe the BCCI is right and the methodology is poor.

- Umm, I don't know. I looked at the FAQ, but there's no description of the methodology. They do seem to weight more recent performance, and adjust for run environment and level of opposition. They talk about a computer, too.

- Yes, but I've got a computer. It's an iMac I bought in 2000.

- Believe it or not, these rankings are older than that. They're the old Price Waterhouse Cooper system, that people used to love and Wisden used to publish.

- Someone should blog about this system. I'd forgotten all about it.

- Actually, there is a blog. They've even done a bit of work about cricketers' aging patterns. But it's only been running a short time, and they don't post very often.

- About those aging patterns...

- Better than nothing. Did you know there was a Wikipedia page about Cricket Ranking Systems?

- Does it mention Cricketing Sabermetrics?

- No.

- Not very well researched, then.

- Did you know that, according to a BCCI official, ‘There are so many other companies in India doing these sorts of rankings and the ICC just wants to get some publicity for their own system.’

- So if Cricketing Sabermetrics could demonstrate that the best batsman of all time was Sachin Tendulkar, we could get some dosh from one of these companies. Or even the BCCI?

- It's worth thinking about. But then maybe Cricket Australia would complain we'd overlooked Bradman.

- That gives the option of a lucrative book contract! Put in Sir Geoffrey! Sell on three continents!

- I like your thinking.

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