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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 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 Test County Championship Sam Curran England players' batting averages
Recent posts

County Memberships

Nick Bloom has recently published a book on county cricket, " Batting for Time: The Fight to Keep English Cricket Alive". I haven't read the book, but the review in the  Daily Telegraph got a lot of attention for a quote from Durham Chief Executive Tim Bostock describing county members as Luddites.  The "L" word is only the half of it, Bostock also describes county members as the "lowest common denominator."  This is a companion piece to an article published last year in the Telegraph where an unnamed ECB source described county members as "fleas on the tail of the dog." The middle - management rungs of English cricket's bureaucracy have an odd attitude towards paying customers.  Of course contempt for customers can extend to the free market but the rule is it shouldn't be openly expressed, even a bank that has me on hold for half an hour will say every two minutes "your business is important to us".  If English cricket had

Bentley Forbes Consulting Rankings 2022

The 2022 Bentley Forbes Consulting rankings for financial stability of English county cricket clubs has now been completed.  Since their inception in 2018 the rankings and the highly complex* financial algorithm** behind them has provided a definitive insight into the financial position of 17 of the 18 English first class cricket counties***. The 2021 rankings are  here  and the first set of rankings, which includes a bit more detail on how on the calculations,  here .  In summary the 2022 accounts for each county****  are used to rank, profit, (based on an average of profitability for the last three years), and balance sheet strength.  The overall balance sheet measure  is a blend of three different measures: liabilities compared to assets that can easily be converted to cash, liabilities compared to total assets and liabilities falling due in the next five years compared to total assets.  From the profit and balance sheet rankings I then come up with a blended ranking and a table - t

Colin Graves and Headingley

Colin Graves is expected to return to Yorkshire County Cricket Club (YCCC) as chairman in the hope that he can refinance the ailing county . To date the Graves plan seems very short on specifics.  The members are being asked to change the rules of the club at an Extraordinary General Meeting to allow Graves to be appointed as chairman and for him to hand pick his own board of directors.   What the club gets in return for this is not very clear.  Graves has promised to lend YCCC £1m and there is talk of additional financing of  £4m but a letter from the current board to members states:  " the sourcing of the further investment of £4m is reliant on the new Board and there is no binding commitment to provide it or (as yet) information on the sources of these funds" I guess there is a tacit assumption that YCCC's principal creditor, the Colin Graves' family trust, will be amenable to some sort of resolution be it extending the loan, buying Headingley or turning YCCC into

Lancashire County Cricket Club 2022 Accounts

  In this post  I looked at Lancashire County Cricket Club's (LCCC) for the period to 31 December 2019.  Where I reached this conclsion:" Lancashire certainly seems to have the potential to join Surrey as a consistently profitable enterprise.  But even assuming coronavirus can be put behind us there is a challenge for the club to ensure it's new found financial strength isn't dissipated on payments to executives and the cash drain of keeping its hospitality business up to scratch." So now that the LCCC accounts for 2022 are available it's a good time to see if, post covid, Lancashire remain on the path to financial stability. And it seems as if Lancashire have come through the covid crisis in good financial order.  The county still has a large amount of debt but the amount of debt has declined from £26m in 2019 to £22.5m in 2022*.  That's a good result, particulalrly given the disruption caused by coranavirus and it seems that the hotel built on the Old Tr

Spinners in County Cricket Part 3

A continuation of a series of posts on spinners in county cricket, parts 1&2 can be found  here  and  here The statistics for this post don't include the last round of county matches, so in most cases will cover the first 12 games of the 14 game 2023 county season.  I've only looked at front line spinners, which I've defined as bowlers who have bowled at least 150 overs.  13 bowlers have have met the front rank criteria. (Dawson, De Caires, Harmer, Leach, Parkinson, Quadri, Thompson, Swepson, Hartley, Carson, Bess Gohar and Keogh).  The best average amongst the 13 is Liam Dawson at 21.81 and Simon Harmer's 54 wickets is the most taken by any spinner.  Josh De Caires (AKA Mike Atherson) is a new name with a distinctly good 26.5 average (second best amongst front line spinners.) As a group the spinners have taken 320 wickets at an average of just over 36 runs a wicket.  That compares with an average for all bowlers of 31.7.  Wickets taken by front line spinners make u

Metrobank Cup

Tomorrow sees the final of the county 50 over a side Metrobank cup, played at Trent Bridge between Hampshire and Leicestershire.  I don't think Hampshire's John Turner will be fit in time to play - but he's an interesting cricketer.  Picked for the T20 international series against New Zealand he is a classic new era ECB selection, born outside the UK (South Africa) and selected for having the right attributes of pace and bounce, rather than consistent performances, not his fault -  he's only played a total of thirty games in top level cricket. But he's also an example of how the county game can help to identify talent.  Hampshire gave him his initial chance in the 2021 season when call ups to The Hundred had left them short of bowlers for the 50 over competition.  It would be unlikely a player would get this chance if the county game was boiled down to 8 (or 10) provincial sides. So to celebrate tomorrow's final I've come up with a team of the tournament to