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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

Yorkshire 2021 Accounts

This is a post on Yorkshire's 2021  accounts . Financially Yorkshire are in a pickle. The accounts disclose there is a "material uncertainty" over whether it will be a going concern in twelve months time. I look at why that is and speculate how likely it is that Yorkshire will go bust..  There are two reasons for Yorkshire's financial pickle.  The first, as you probably guessed, is the fall out from the Azeem Rafiq affair.  To recap, Yorkshire have accepted some of the allegations of racism and bullying are correct and have reached a financial settlement with Rafiq.  They  also sacked 16 members of "staff" and terminated a contract with the physiotherapy company owned by Wayne Morton. (This is a bit confusing, there are statements that 6 of the 16 sacked, were employed by Wayne Morton's company but, if you look at the accounts at Companies House, Morton's company, Pavilion Physiotherapy, only had one employee, Wayne Morton.)  Six of the 16 sacked sta

Central Contracts and English Test Cricket

In this  post  I looked at the performance of the England men's Test team using ICC rankings extending back to 1952 and came to the conclusion that " I think we have enough (my bad stats excluded) to conclude central contracts  probably  had a beneficial effect on England's test match performance." It's two years (and a lot of England Test defeats) since I wrote that and I thought it would be interesting to revisit the evidence on the impact of central contracts. Firstly here is the graph from that article extended to cover 2020 - 2022. The vertical line marks 2000, the year central contracts were introduced.  2021 and 2022 have seen a  sharp decline in ranking points and the 2022 ranking of 88 is the lowest since central contracts were introduced and fourth lowest since 1952. Although it's pretty hard to spot with the naked eye, performance has been better post 2000 with an average of 103 ranking points compared to 101 points in the period 1952 to 2000.  But

The Hundred: Rewarding Mediocrity

  In the draft for The Hundred the following players were all given, top rank, £125,000 contracts: Joe Clarke  Tom Kohler - Cadmore Tom Banton Laurie Evans Liam Dawson The £125,000 bracket was designed for top international players the sort of people who earn $1m + from the IPL and need to be tempted to participate in The Hundred. But none of the 5 players above are elite cricketers.  None of them is playing in the current iteration of the IPL, none of them is a regular in England teams.  And yet each gets £125,000 for playing in the Hundred.   It's not the only money the five players get from English cricket as each of them also has a county contract.  Precise figures on how much county cricketers earn are hard to find but £100k per year might be a decent guess for an experienced, OK player at one of the larger counties.  (Lancashire's cricket wage bill divided by the number of cricket staff comes out at about £80k.) A Hundred player has to rebate 12.5% of their county salary

Bentley Forbes Consulting Rankings 2020

This post unveils the prestigious Bentley Forbes Consulting county financial rankings for "2020"  based on accounts for periods ended between 30 September 2020 and 31 January 2021.  The 2019 rankings are  here  and if you are really interested you can get back to 2017.   There are only 16 counties below, with Hampshire and Middlesex excluded from the table.  Hampshire because they are a part of Rod Bransgrove's business interests and Middlesex, because they can't do anything right - including filing accounts within statutory time limits. The approach is to rank each county by two measures, one the average profit (or loss) made over the last 3 years and the second a measure of balance sheet strength.  Then I've used those two measures to get an overall financial stability ranking.  Hang onto your hats and lock your pets in the back room, because here come the Bentley Forbes Consulting rankings for 2020. County Profit Assets Ranking Position Move Derbyshire 5 5


A quick update on my book.  It was a (very) modest success.  Selling the 200 copies print run & getting a nice review in  cricket web . I'm afraid it's no longer possible to buy a hard copy (in this bit of the market it's done for the love not the money and I can't afford another small print run) but the ebook is available from Amazon.

Warwickshire 2021 Accounts

Warwickshire have published accounts for the period to 30 September 2021 .  What follows is my review of those accounts. Warwickshire  are one of the first counties to publish 2021 accounts which give us a peek at cricket's finances as the sport began to come out of lock down.   Results in Brief My review of the 2020 accounts can be found  here  and by following the links on that piece you can work your back to the 2017 accounts.  As you will see from the review, 2020 was a bad year financially for Warwickshire with the county taking on an additional £3.5m of debt. This was largely  as a result of the coronavirus but there were some worrying indications the county was in financial difficulties even before lock down .   The accounts for 2021 show an improvement from 2020.  Revenues were up, losses were reduced and cash flow was strong leaving the county with almost £8m (before taking debt into account) on the balance sheet. But the Bears aren't out of the woods, although revenue

Andrew Strauss: Changes the Future, Fashions The Past

Cricket is in a state of flux, but some traditions endure, for instance, the great Ashes autopsy.  As people cast around for solutions to England's cricketing woes there is a consensus  Andrew Strauss is an integral part of a better future.  Michael Vaughan suggests he'd be a good chairman of the ECB, Michael Atherton sees him more in the Chief Executive's role and Tim De Lisle (Guardian) thinks he is right man to reset English cricket, but seems happy to leave him in his current role of chairman of the ECB's cricket committee. From the little bits I've seen, Strauss is a good man who speaks and, presumably, thinks clearly.  But I'm less convinced he's the right man to run English cricket and I find his treatment in the media a little odd.  Tim De Lisle for one seems to be in favour of a mythical Andrew Strauss.   In today's article in the Guardian De Lisle writes:  " It was Strauss who saw, in 2015, that something drastic needed to be done about En