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Mo Bobat and County Cricket

Cricinfo has this interview with ECB "Performance Director" Mo Bobat.  Bobat makes an interesting claim about county cricket, "Take something like county batting average. We know that a county batting average does not significantly predict an international batting average, so a lot of the conventional things that are looked at as being indicators of success - they don't really stand true in a predictive sense."  And later in the article there is a graph, showing county averages plotted against test averages for 13 English test batsmen.  This is reproduced below.

better than random? raw data suggests no meaningful link between championship and test averages
Recent posts

Rating Shane Warne and Sydney Barnes

As I mentioned in this post a good use of your compulsory CV - 19 lock down is to read  
It's a bit geeky, which I like, and Mr RedBallData has some interesting ideas on how to predict and select, cricket and cricketers, an area which I find fascinating, although I don't have the maths to do anything other than cheer on from the sidelines.
Something that really appealed to me was his list of the best bowlers of the last 50 years.  The approach used to compile the list was, rather than  look at average, to order the bowlers by their impact on the averages of the batsmen they played against (you can get a bowler's career broken down this way on cricinfos stats guru.).  So, for instance,  let's say we have a bowler who has only ever bowled to two batsmen, A&B.  A has a career average of 50 but our bowler gets him out for 25; B has a career average of 10, our guy though has a bowling average of 15 against him.  The reduction in average is (-25+5…

Warwickshire County Cricket 2019 Accounts: Are the Bears Out of the Woods?

Warwickshire's accounts for the period to 30 September 2019 are now available on the county's website.  This post is my take on the financial results for the period, my posts on earlier years are on these links,  2018 2017
2019 Results In Brief 
2019 was always going to be a good year for Warwickshire with two money spinning events,  an Ashes test which went to the 5th day, and a cricket world cup staged in the UK.  Not surprisingly revenue soared by 54% to £27m.  But it was gratifying that costs of sale only increased by 27%.  Warwickshire bucked the recent trend of revenue growth coming at the expense of increased costs and widening losses.
The press release accompanying the accounts trumpeted an "operating EBITDA of £6.2m."  However, as set out in my previous posts this is a meaningless and misleading measure of profitability, excluding interest costs and payments to the catering joint venture, which are integral to the county's financial position.
I use two differe…

Vernon Philander: A question

The Johannesburg test of 2020 was Vernon Philander's final appearance for South Africa.  Throughout the series he was a diminished figure, never bowling badly but struggling to manage more than 4 overs in a spell and pulling up injured in that final test.  If I was Somerset chief executive I'd be checking his new contract very carefully.

But that shouldn't detract from what has been an excellent test career with Philander taking his wickets at an average of just over 22.  What's more there's an argument the simple average doesn't fully capture just how good a bowler he was. The highly recommended redballdata blog ranks Philander as the fourth best bowler of the past fifty years on the basis of impact on the opposing batsman's average.  You can always niggle away at these type of exercises (although any list of bowlers that has Malcolm Marshall at the top is OK by me), but the real point is; any way you slice it Philander was  a supremely effective bowler wh…