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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

ECB ACCOUNTS 2020 - 2021

 A follow up to my post on the  ECB's accounting for coronavirus furlough payments This covers what I think has happened, what should have happened and why it matters. What Happened Note 4 to the 2020 -2021  accounts, "staff costs",  included the following explanation for the sharp increase in staff costs in the period. " As well as the change in the average number of employees, the increase is also due to higher player salaries linked to the new media rights cycle and one-off redundancy costs arising from the restructuring exercise during the year. These factors were offset by funds received from HMRC with respect to the furlough of staff during the year." That final sentence seems to me to say the furlough payments were netted off the wage costs.  So, as an example, say staff costs were £10m (they were way more but....) and furlough payments £1m,  I think the ECB would have disclosed staff costs of £9m.  The alternative to this is the grants could have been sh

ECB Long term Incentive Plan

The payment of £2m, due in 2022, to certain unnamed individuals at the ECB under a Long Term Incentive Plan has finally been picked up in the press.  See this from the  Guardian . The Guardian has the story as an "Ali Martin exclusive", not so fast Mr Martin, SideOn first covered the payments in  2018 .  I'm not accusing the Guardian of nicking my stuff but claiming something as an exclusive which has been available in the ECB's accounts for three years seems a little rich.  Still it's good the whole business is getting some scrutiny.   If the Guardian was looking for another exclusive they could do worse than this  post , which showed ECB spending on staff salaries increased in the year to 31 January 2021 by more than £6m to over £43m.  And I wonder whether there's a bit more to it than that.   Note 3 to the accounts which covers payroll costs includes the following, rather ambiguous, narrative explanation of why staff costs have increased by so much.  "

ECB Financial Statements 2020 - 2021

  This is a post on the ECB's financial statements for the period ended 31 January 2021 .   Posts on previous accounts are here:  2017   2018 2019 2020 Summary In 2021 the ECB's income was £207m against total costs of £223m leaving it with a deficit of £16m. At 31 January 2021 accumulated reserves were just £2m.  As the accounting period  coincided with the worst of the coronavirus crisis that's not a bad result.  Of course the talk (some of it from within the ECB) of cricket losing £100m + was always exaggerated, given reduced revenues would come with reduced costs and that cricket's financial position is underpinned by TV revenues.  But there was no guarantee there would be games to televise and the ECB did well to keep the show on the road.  The remainder of this post, tries to get underneath the headline figures, compares actual to expected outcomes and asks the questions: who benefits from English cricket's weird structure? As with all previous posts on the ECB

ECB BUDGETS 2020 - 2024

  A post on the ECB and how it spends the money receives on behalf of cricket in the UK.   In this  post  I had a moan about the lack of information in the ECB's published accounts and had a guesstimate at how the ECB might be spending its money. Well the ECB have now produced an analysis of their expenditure on cricket's behalf, you can find it  here . It's a really welcome development.  What follows is an analysis of how the ECB's figures compare to my estimates, a brief diversion into the accounting for The Hundred and some comments on how disclosure can be further improved. Sideon's estimates v ECB figures Area Estimate   ECB   £m £m Counties, boards and other 45 118 Grassroots 34 38 National Sides 42 38 The Hundred 0 39 Administration 48 40 Total 169   273 Administration as a % of total 28%   15% Differences   My estimates were pretty good, in most categories I'm within a few million of the ECB's figures. I'm way out on The Hundred and payments to

Executive Salaries in County Cricket

This post is a follow up to a salary cap for county chief executives which looked at the amounts paid to Key Management Personnel at the first class cricket counties.  I've now updated this for 2018 and 2019       2019 2018 Derbyshire     164,851 156,974 Durham     165,127 238,246 Essex     577,723 467,881 Glamorgan     558,102 423,277 Hampshire     421,499 523,405 Kent     554,286 492,375 Lancashire     1,448,110 950,460 Leicestershire     128,335 136,368 Nottinghamshire     511,575 477,821 Somerset     142,253 97,716 Sussex     610,949 545,659 Surrey     1,216,000 1,063,000 Warwickshire     772,741 629,871 Yorkshire     856,983 654,025       8,128,534 6,857,078 Although tempting, it's not really fair to use the table for county by county comparisons as there is no fixed definition of Key Management Personnel.  But year on year comparisons of the total paid to county chief executives and other senior management are more valid and the table

India and The Toss

Lots of statements from commentators (both paid and unpaid) about the value of winning the toss and batting first in India.  Universally held, winning the toss is a big advantage and quite a few comments along the lines of, "once we lost the toss, we'd lost the game." And I can see why people say this, logically if batting becomes harder over time, you want to bat earlier in the game. But looking at the statistics there is very little support for this.  Using cricinfo's stats guru function it is possible to see what happened to the side batting first in each game played in India for the period from 2000.  There's a nice round 100 games in the period (doesn't include current test) and the stats for the 21st century are. Bat 1  = Win =      32 Bat 1  = lose =      41 Bat 1 = Draw =    27 So across a decent sample size the evidence seems to suggest, in complete contrast to intuition, bat second. Do I believe this? Wellllll  ..... Not really. A few things to put o

Warwickshire County Cricket Club 2020 Accounts

Warwickshire's accounts for the year to 30 September 2020 are available  here These are the first county cricket club accounts I've seen which cover the period of the coronavirus pandemic.  I've covered previous Warwickshire accounts, 2019   2018   2017 This post continues the analysis and considers whether there's a future for the counties in general and Warwickshire in particular.  As it's quite a long post I'm starting off with a summary. Summary Given the  pandemic, Warwickshire's 2020's results weren't too bad.  The board is confident the club can navigate 2021 and as I believe Warwickshire is one of the weaker counties financially I'm increasingly optimistic most counties will get to 2022, perhaps a little battered, but basically intact.  But if the virus results in reduced crowds for 2022 (and beyond?) continued financial hardship will take a toll.  Problems may be particularly marked for test match staging counties who have budgeted on si