29 February 2008

Why are the IPL approaching England players?

The deal that I expected to be going on behind closed doors was that the BCCI would be asking the ECB for support in trying to put cricketers off joining the ICL - the rebel league. In return I expected the ECB to say that they would expect the IPL, run by the BCCI, not to approach any England players. This seems like a fair deal and what I assumed had happened. But Pietersen is now saying he's had several offers from the IPL.

I wonder if the ECB have done some poor negotiation, or if the BCCI have just ignored any deal?

Not a bad day's work

South Africa will be pretty pleased with their day's work after day 1 of the 2nd Test v Bangladesh. 405 - 0 seems pretty handy to me, and it's only 9 runs away from beating the world record for the 1st wicket! Just the one chance went Bangladesh's way, and that was after McKenzie had scored 131.

I can't imagine many more depressing days have been had in the field.

28 February 2008

Sledging - what's ok and what's not

I'm definitely not pro-Aussie, but all the chat about sledging between India and Australia is doing my head in! Perhaps I am the only person that thinks the line between what is acceptable and what isn't is pretty easy to gauge if you use common sense....

Not even close: "Mad boy" - what Hayden apparently calls Harbajan (except in radio interviews when he calls him an "obnoxious little weed"!)

Getting slightly closer, but not warranting any post-match debate - at worst a word from the umpires: "Bastards" - what Hogg allegedly said to Kumble and Dhoni when they were batting together at one point during the Test series.

Over the boundary: "Monkey" or any other racist reference.

To me it seems so simple - am I over simplifying?

26 February 2008

Illegal gloves and Real averages

I thought that like football referees not sending players off for arguing with them and scrum halves putting the ball in crooked, the law about webbing on keepers' gloves was just one of those that were there in theory (and the law book) but not used.
But now I see that MS Dhoni has been rapped over the knuckles and the gloves he wore on Sunday banned - he's got to wear a pair with less webbing in future.

Now this leaves us with a dilemma about whether we should investigate and delete all the dismissals made with illegal gloves (actually only Gilchrist in Sunday's match when Dhoni changed gloves - before or after the dismissal ?) to make our real averages even more 'real'.

25 February 2008

A question for sports quiz goers

Question: Name the Test match bowler who took a wicket with a ball that bounced twice in 2008?

Answer: Russ and James were both correct with the answers they gave in their comments. Mohammad Ashraful took the wicket of AB de Villiers on day 2 of the recent Bangladesh v South Africa Test with a ball that bounced twice. de Villiers hung around but as any social cricketer knows(!) the ball must bounce 3 times to be deemed a no ball.

23 February 2008

In, out? Shake it all about....

It's really interesting reading Cricinfo's commentary on the 5th ODI between New Zealand and England, and comparing it to the radio commentary. Like many English cricket fans (presumably) I got up to find out what was going on and stuck the radio on - as it happened the rain had just started falling and they were reviewing the New Zealand innings. According to the radio, Ryder was LBW for 0 and not given, Flynn wasn't out LBW but was given, and Vettori was caught behind and not given.

Looking at the Cricinfo commentary on these potential wickets:

Anderson to Ryder, no run, massive shout, and that is very close! Conceivably pitched outside leg ... but there wasn't a lot wrong with it. Lucky.

Sidebottom to Flynn, OUT, that's utterly plumb, and suddenly there's a bit of excitement about this game. Pitches on off, nips back, and Flynn's front foot is planted. A sad end to his debut innings, but there's a finish in prospect now...

Anderson to Vettori, no run, the ball zips past the outside edge, a loud appeal from behind the wicket but Billy Bowden yet again unmoved. Anderson looks bewildered ... Vettori stands utterly stony faced. Did Vettori hit it? We may never know...the replays are inconclusive...

To me this goes to show that replays are needed for all decisions - having seen the replay Ryder's LBW pitched outside leg...the Flynn LBW is described as plumb by the Cricinfo reporter, and yet it was going over the top according to the radio...and Vettori was (apparently) proved to be out using the snickometer although the highlights at Crideos don't show the vital snickometer replay. There was also no mention on the radio of another decision that was out on replay - Styris LBW to Collingwood - that has been added to Cricket Burble wrong decisions.

I can't wait for more technology to be used as has been proposed by the ICC's Chief Executive committee this week.

22 February 2008

Dhoni's sensible batting brings improved stats

It was only a week or two back that I posted about MS Dhoni using his brain in India's ODI victory over Australia. And since then he went for the highest value at the IPL auction - $1.5m.

Now Cricinfo have laid out the stats that seem to support the fact that Dhoni is taking more responsibility in the last year - even more so now that he's captain. His average has gone from 43 pre-2007, to 48 since January 2007, and 51.75 as captain.

Probably the most interesting table within this article is the very last one. Dhoni is second only to Mark Boucher for lowest dot balls faced percentage....Pietersen is the highest Englishman in the list at 10th.

20 February 2008

England won!

It appears that for a long time now, it's been possible to tie ODIs with the sides losing different numbers of wickets. At the risk of exposing my England bias, what happened to the old rules where the side who had lost less wickets won? This seems to me to be a sensible way of deciding a winner when it's clear that there's nothing between the sides. (Admittedly this assumes that people want to find a way of dividing the sides and want to create a "winner").

Yet wickets aren't used to decide the winner when teams have the same number of runs as they once were. So having given it a few seconds thought, I don't understand why most 1st innings don't end in a run-out - if wickets are worth nothing, why don't the side batting first keep running until they are out, unless the fielding side have a player holding the ball standing by the wicket.

If sides batting first don't run until they are out, that potentially give the side batting second an advantage - knowing their target they know that they have no choice but to take the risk on that highly unlikely 2nd etc, and 1 time in 100 it will come off....

Or am I just a sour Englishman?

19 February 2008

A thoroughly unfair way of getting out

Sri Lanka lost by 2 wickets today against India in Australia and suffered the worst possible luck - two of their players were run out backing up when Sangakkara straight drove and the bowler managed to get finger tips on the ball before it broke the stumps. It wasn't just any two players either - it was Jayasuriya and Jayawardene who, along with Sangakkara, are the stand out batsmen in the Sri Lankan side.

I'm a big fan of as little luck as possible when it comes to determining who wins - if the best team won every time that would suit me fine, although I know it's not how everyone feels. Can't the powers that be change the law to make the ball dead as soon as it hits the stumps, with the batting side scoring 4 runs? Let's face it - if the bowler hasn't got time to get down to the ball to stop it hitting the stumps, it's probably going for four anyway.

What are the chances that the result may have changed if that law was in place? You can see the Sri Lanka v India scorecard here.

18 February 2008

England win the Ashes

England's women have retained the Ashes in Australia after a hard-fought win in the one match being played in Australia. The stars for England were Isa Guha with the ball, and Claire Taylor with the bat.

Needing only a draw, England were never really in much danger having bowled Australia out for 154 in the 1st innings of the match. You can see the scorecard here.

Open top bus ride through central London?

17 February 2008

More on Ian Bell!

England's batting has been decidedly fragile in the first 3 ODI's in New Zealand and my thoughts on that the other day were to move Mustard down the order. This piece by Mike Selvey in the Guardian got me thinking about Bell though....I've never been a huge fan of Bell as my previous posts show (Bell sums himself up in one innings), possibly because England chose to leave out their best batsman over the previous 12 months going into the 2005 Ashes for him. There is just no comparison between Graham Thorpe and Ian Bell as far as I'm concerned, but it's not Bell's fault he got picked for that series and worked over by the Aussies.

A certain other Cricket Burbler, Dave McCabe, has previously laid out the positive arguments for Bell: Ian Bell, but I've still not been converted, despite Bell's decent ODI record which has also been burbled about before (Positives for Ian Bell). Selvey's article sums up many of my reservations about Bell, and it was interesting to hear the radio commentary team describing watching Bell in ODIs as being like watching Nasser Hussain - the pressure builds and builds until he has to play a get out of jail shot which he either gets away with, or is his downfall. What the article doesn't mention - but perhaps is implicit in the opinion that Bell can't pace his innings correctly - is his shot selection. I continue to fear that Bell will give his wicket away at any stage in his innings (admittedly he was done for by another wrong decision in the last ODI). He is also renouned as the person that always plays great shots for 0 as his placement lets him down.

You can read the full article here. Michael Vaughan or Owais Shah for number 3 in the ODI set up anyone?

15 February 2008

Unusual first names

The biblical pair Daniel (Vettori) and Jacob (Oram) got me thinking about names and I certainly can't think of any other Test players with those first names. That of course led me on to the England side and I bet there has never been a Dimitri or an Owais in a Test or International side before. Then you looked at the whole England side and I reckon that of those who played in the recent win I could only remember name-twins for four - James (Anderson), Philip (Mustard), Kevin (Pietersen) and Paul (Collingwood) - I can think of no other Alastairs, Ians, Lukes or Ryans.

Jesse has got to be unique too.

Who have I forgotten ?

Aussies bowled out twice in a row

Australia were this afternoon bowled batting first. This is the second consecutive match this has happened after the Indians bowled the Aussie's out in just 45 overs the other day. When is the last time this has happened to the Aussie's in consecutive matches? It can't have happened too often in recent times.

By the way, the are currently making a good fist of defending a below par total with SL 4/82 in the twentieth over.

14 February 2008

BCCI plan to end sledging

Perhaps I'm being a bit over-sensitive, but have the BCCI lost their mind? If this report is correct, they intend to propose that the ICC stop all sledging. How exactly do they expect anyone to differentiate between banter and sledging? Are we going to have to have every player miked up? Or complete silence on the pitch?

Apparently this brainwave came about after the Sydney debacle, and readers of Cricket Burble will know my views on that. There are cultural differences apparently creating issues for match referees when it comes to interpretation of potential offences - doesn't that suggest that the regulations need tightening up, rather than we try to do something impossible - ban "sledging" - however the word is defined?

Some of the most famous cricketing tales come from those comments made by players designed to get one over their opponent psychologically - long may it continue.

As an aside, one of my (admittedly poor) "sledges" came back to haunt me a few years ago - with a large batsman having blocked about 20 balls, I suggested that this would be "the longest duck ever". The next ball went for six and he scored 90 not out to win them the game....

Ponting wants gap for IPL

Ricky Ponting today said there is a risk players may be lost to international cricket in favor of the IPL unless a space is cleared in the international calendar. With the huge money on offer, I can understand his point. It is much easier said than done however. The international cricket calendar is already so heavily packed that players have been complaining of burnout for years. Under the current system I can't see how any more space can be cleared unless the Future Tours Programme is expanded from five years to six.

New Zealand depth to be tested

Stephen Fleming has just announced his retirement at the conclusion of the home series against England. He is the latest in a long list of senior NZ players to have called it a day in the last couple of years. Chris Cairns, Nathan Astle and Craig MacMillan have all walked away recently while Scott Styris has retired from tests to concentrate on ODIs and Shane Bond appears unlikely to play in the near future due to his involvement in the ICL.

The loss of so many of their more experienced players is sure to test the depth of the Kiwi national side. They are a team who have traditionally struggled with depth of talent at international level. Even in their golden era in the mid-eighties their success was largely based on two star players in Richard Hadlee and Martin Crowe. This makes their performances against England in the first two ODIs all the more remarkable.

I'm sure the Kiwi management will be praying the younger members of the side will develop quickly, but I fear a fairly major kiwi slump over the next few years at least while they re-build.

13 February 2008

Finger spinning in Australia

A little while ago I posted about finger spinning in Australia and the lack of success finger spinners seem to have here. As promised I've done some statistical analyses on the subject and my verdict is this........yes, finger spinners do struggle in Australian conditions when compared to wrist spinners and fast/medium bowlers. Here are the numbers to back it up (I used cricinfo's Statsguru engine and the good old fashioned calculator for this crunching of numbers). All stats are limited to tests played in Australia after WWII.

Fast/medium bowlers have taken 5,636 wickets at an average of 30.65 and a strike rate of 65.57. Spin bowlers have taken 2,208 wickets at an average of 37.76 and a strike rate of 87.57. There is also a third category of bowler which covers bowlers who bowled a mixture of pace and spin such as Andrew Symonds, Garfield Sobers and Derek Underwood, and also part time or occasional bowlers who do not have a bowling style listed on Cricinfo. These mixture/unknown bowlers have taken 532 wickets at an average 33.22 and a strike rate of 76.54. These figures show that in general fast/medium bowlers have significantly out performed spinners over the years in Australian conditions.

Now to compare finger spinners with wrist spinners. The wrist spinners have taken 1,165 wickets at 34.47 and a strike rate of 76.42. This leaves 1,043 wickets for finger spinners, which compares favourably, but these wickets have cost 41.44 runs a piece and 100.10 balls are bowled per wicket. Wrist spinners have also taken five wickets in an innings 59 times and ten in a match 12 times. Fingers spinners have just 37 five-fors and incredibly just 3 ten-fors despite having bowled over 15,000 more deliveries than wrist spinners.

You might argue that for the last fifteen or so years the best wrist spinner in history has been bowling for Australia which must skew the numbers. If you take Warne out of the equation, the wrist spinners still out perform finger spinners with 846 wickets at 37.51 and a strike rate of 82.29. They still have 44 five wicket hauls and 11 tens.

One very interesting point I noticed when doing this research was that Australian's use wrist spinners far more than finger spinners, while the reverse is true for visiting teams. Australian wrist spinners have bowled 71,328 balls compared to 26,464 for finger spinners. For visiting teams the respective numbers are 17,704 and 77,666. In fact the last time Australia played a specialist finger spinner in a home test was Tim May's last test in the 94/95 Ashes. Of course, having Warne and MacGill around has severely limited opportunities for finger spinners, as has a steady supply of useful part timers including Symonds, Clarke, Lehmann and Mark Waugh. But that aside, having followed Australian domestic cricket closely over this period, I can not think of anyone who was really up to international standard. Nathan Hauritz and Dan Cullen have played a few one day games and a test each overseas, but neither appear to be really up to it. There was a guy about ten years back called Brad Young who I thought had a bit of talent, but he just seemed to fade away.

The top five spin bowlers on the Australian wicket takers list are all wrist spinners. So the question is, do Australia not produce good finger spinners because the conditions are not conducive, or do the conditions appear unconducive because we do not produce quality finger spinners. Well, Australian fingers spinners, while largely unsuccessful do have a better average and strike rates than their overseas counterparts (38.22 and 96.19 compared to 42.60 and 101.39). This would perhaps suggest our finger spinners can hold their own, we are just more reluctant to select them due to the conditions.

12 February 2008

Taufel making a break for it?

The obvious thing to blog about is England's latest debacle, so starting with something else....could the IPL be about to make Simon Taufel an offer he can't refuse? It seems that some observers think so, and from his comments it sounds like Taufel is keen not to travel so much and look at some other opportunities. Why not make a shed load of money for a few weeks away each year and then look at what options you have back home for the rest of the year - I'd go for it.

It's not possible to avoid the England performance any longer - what a disaster! I was in favour of keeping the team the same for the last match, but there's not much choice but to make a change - or changes - now....this piece on Cricinfo is particularly harsh on Bopara, even though he made the 3rd highest score. Bopara's main sin was running out Cook, but then his team mates have hardly proved great runners, with 6 run outs in 2 games, and the England set up have overlooked Bell's weaknesses in that area for years.

Looking at the failings in each department, the batsman have failed twice, and the bowlers once, so somehow it seems a little strange to consider changes from number 7 downwards, but that's perhaps what is required. The obvious change is to bring Mascarenas in for Bopara, but I can't help thinking that the batting is more of a concern, and most of the batting places are sown up. The constant loss of Mustard before we've scored 50 is something that could be addressed now, whether it's him that plays, or Ambrose. So how about a refreshed line up of:


with Swann coming in for Wright, Broad or Anderson if it's a wicket that demands a spinner.

I still have faith in Bopara to come good - his running has never been great - he ran out Dalrymple on debut - but he has shown that he can bat sensibly under pressure. By dropping him after such a short time in the Test team, we seem to have somehow ruined a young man's confidence that was sky high after the series against India last English summer. The question is when he'll come good again, rather than if.

11 February 2008

Cricket groups on Facebook

Facebook has turned up some gems tonight as I looked to see what sort of cricket groups existed on the social network with over 8 million members, and over 60,000 that have stated they like cricket in their interests....

German women living in England who are members of county cricket clubs (above) seems to have just 4 women in it out of 30 members. "I have a fetish for German women living in England who are members of county cricket clubs. Coooor!" and "hello ladies..... we all love ze germans! especially the big butch ones.... mmmmm buff stuff" seem to be the comments from this small group.

Through looking at the group "Cricket is rained off sex is the best you will ever have" - a group that was started by a girl called Olivia and with 21 members - I found another group called "10 reasons to date a cricket player" - thanks to the 20,294 members there are now many more than 10 reasons, but number 1 is "cricketers always wear protection" and it gets worse from there!

Alas for Shane Warne, the Shane Warne appreciation society on Facebook has just 12 members (while "I hate the Australian cricket team" has 790) and yet the group "Brian Charles Lara: the messiah of cricket" has 940 members. That leaves Sachin in 2nd place amongst recent batting heroes as the group "Cricket is my religion and Tendulkar is my god!!!!!" has only 661 members. None of these cricketers match up to the "Corridor cricket appreciation society" who have over 1,300 members....which puts "BYC (Back Yard Cricket) - the world game" to shame as they have less than 300 members.

"Cricket would be more exciting if hot women in bikinis played it" doesn't fare well as they only have 726 members despite their catchy group name, but perhaps the most surprising is a Scott Styris appreciation group. There must be hundreds of blind people on Facebook as 368 people have joined the group "Scott Styris - the best looking man in cricket", or perhaps that group has a tinge of irony!

Time to start up a Cricket Burble group on Facebook? No, I don't think I'll bother....just yet.

10 February 2008

Dhoni uses brain in Indian victory

When India toured England last summer, I accused MS Dhoni of having no brain. Having hit Pietersen for two sixes, when on 92 and with his team on over 500 batting first in the 3rd Test, needing only a draw for a series victory, Dhoni perished on the boundary going for hatrick of sixes. Given the dominant position Dhoni and India were in, the post inspired a few comments of disagreement! As it turned out, the game was a boring draw and India won the series.

In between that series and now, Dhoni captained India to victory in the Twenty20 with some really attacking captaincy in a game which is generally considered to be about containing the batsmen. Dhoni kept attacking fielders in place, particularly slips, when other captains didn't, and reaped the rewards as wickets once again proved to be the best way of reducing the batting sides' run rate.

Today, Dhoni captained India to victory over Australia in the latest Commonwealth Bank ODI. Chasing only 159 India were going well at 89-2 in the 22nd over, with Tendulkar well set, but 3 wickets fell relatively quickly and India found themselves at 102-5 in the 29th over when Dhoni came to the wicket. In the end Dhoni and Sharma, who was the more dominant batsman in their partnership, took India to a 5 wicket victory with 25 balls to spare.

What impressed me was the fact that Dhoni was content to play defensively, knowing that if he and Sharma could see their way past the main 4 bowlers, Ponting would have to use Clarke and Symonds to finish off the overs, so while he only scored 17, the fact that he used up 54 balls to get that 17 was the key. If he'd scored 17 in 2 overs and then exposed his tail to Lee et al, India may well have lost, but Dhoni used his head and - along with Sharma - saw his team to victory.

So I take back my comment that Dhoni doesn't have a brain! It will be interesting to see how he does when he takes over the Test captaincy, assuming he does, after Kumble.

9 February 2008

England do it again...

Only a couple of days ago I posted about how refeshing it was that England followed up a convincing Twenty20 victory with another convincing Twenty20 victory - all too often, one good result seems to be followed by a bad one. So, as an England supporter it doesn't come as much surprise that we imploded once again in the 1st ODI.

There seem to be a few comments floating around about England's selection, but I have no grumbles with it. Cook walks straight in for ODIs and Wright seems the obvious person to make way for him. Bopara has proved that he's a level-headed player to come in at 7, able to score quickly when required, or steady the ship as necessary, although he wasn't able to do that today. Mascarenas had to make way for Bopara and can certainly consider himself unlucky, and I'm sure England will be considering options for the number 7 position for the 2nd ODI, although I'd personally like to see them stick with Bopara. If they aren't going to use the number 7 to bowl, then it's more likely a choice between Wright and Bopara, if they want a bowler then it's a choice between Mascarenas and Bopara.

Looking at how the wickets fell there were a couple of guys who chopped onto the stumps, and 3 run outs, so there's no reason to panic in terms of selection - the same team just needs to play better!

You can see the disasterous scorecard here.

8 February 2008

Malik married over the phone?

It seems that an Indian woman's family are claiming that Shoaib Malik, the Pakistan captain, deserted her after exchanging vows over the phone. Given international cricket schedules, perhaps this is the future for professional cricketers - relationships carried out over the phone and the internet!

Apparently, "Some school of thought of the Islamic Shariah laws recognise the exchange of marriage vows over the telephone", which is interesting - I wonder who witnesses it and who carries out the marriage? If you know, comment below.

Unsurprisingly, Malik says he just wants to concentrate on his career....

7 February 2008

Mascarenas' four 6s

Mascarenas is proving to be a pretty handy six hitter late in Twenty20's and ODIs, although he's had immense help from Yuvraj Singh and Jeetan Patel who seem to like bowling half-volleys! It's still pretty special to be able to consistently hit sixes though, whatever the size of the ground. View Mascarenas' sixes in the first Twenty20 by clicking here.

Usually England seem to follow up a good performance with a bad one so it was refreshing to see a decent performance in yesterday's 2nd Twenty20 too. New Zealand seem pretty depleted, but hopefully England can keep winning emphatically in the ODIs coming up. If they do no doubt the English press will start saying the Collingwood should be captain of the Test side instead of Vaughan!

5 February 2008


Nice to see England, whose first two games were played at the superbly named 'Village Green' Ground, coping so well with something more familiar to the likes of us mere mortals - namely a funny shaped ground for their Twenty 20 victory today. It seemed like a widened coffin with the 'feet' at coin de vache. The contrast was that whereas we look at the short boundary and worry about protecting that, the pro seems to look at the odd shape as a benefit and reckon that the batsman might not reach the deeper corners so puts men there for the catch (see Anderson's excellent example) from today's game.

The other contrast is that whereas we bowl slow bowlers into the wind ostensibly because it's supposed to help them (and more to the point the faster man doesn't want that end) England seemed to bowl Swann with the wind at his back so that the batsman hitting straight had to hit against the conditions - canny !

Lords and The Oval recommended for Twenty20

This morning, the ECB are going to announce their recommendation to the ICC that Lords and The Oval will be two of the three grounds where ICC Twenty20 World Championship matches will take place during June 2009.

As part of this announcement, ECB is recommending that the final of the competition, together with warm-up, group and super 8 matches, be staged at Lords. The ECB recommendation will be put to the ICC Board for approval on 18th March.

The full information is on the ECB site.

4 February 2008

Two thoughts on cricket coverage

A recent highlights show had a shot of the umpires signalling 4 or 6 for every single boundary. Now there are all sorts of ways that the ball can be hit or nicked to the boundary but even if you're Billy Bowden there's a limit to the number of different ways that you can raise your arms above your head or wave one across your stomach and it's not as if they're doing something unpredictable. So more cricket and fewer umpires' signals please.

Another thought that occurred to me was how often commentators go on about slow over rates. Often a fair comment but don't you sometimes get the feeling that what really upsets them is that it means more hours at the, very pleasant, office for them and more of a scramble to file their copy in time?

Follow up on the Harbajan issue

An interesting article here following up on the Harbajan issue. The Indian author argues that India is one of the most racist contries in the world and that needs to change. Many of the comments on the article - mostly from Indian's - also give some insight into Indian culture....one guy complains that his own family don't want him to play cricket because it will darken his skin colour and a light skin tone is desired.

Whatever your viewpoint on the Harbajan issue, this article makes interesting reading.

3 February 2008

Brett Lee - sings better than he bowls?!

Brett Lee dominated the abandoned one-dayer in Australia today, and he was man-of-the-series in the recent Test series v India. Suddenly, he appears to be Australia's best bowler, having for years looked like an also-ran. His 100% commitment and his handy runs from number 9 (he averages over 20 with the bat in Tests) have never been in doubt, but there have been times when I've questioned Australia's determination to pick him seemingly without question. There's no doubt he's in the form of his life at the moment though.

Brett Lee came in at number 24 in Shane Warne's top 50, ahead of Steve Waugh. I'm not sure than anyone other than Warne would argue that Lee should really come above Waugh, but it's interesting that someone like Warne rated Lee so highly. Perhaps only now that he's had the support of McGrath and Warne taken away, he can really have the confidence that he is one of the best - if not the best - Aussie bowler.

As an Englishman, perhaps my view is clouded by the fact that Lee seems to have underperformed against us Poms. In his first 3 series against England he averaged 55, 41 and 41, which is hardly the sort of form that gets you placed 24 in a list of leading international cricketers. Even in the thrashing of England in Australia last year, Lee averaged 33 which, while good, did nothing to elevate his status above that of a whole-hearted trier, which is how many Englishmen see him.

But Brett's certainly come good. Which is more than we can say for his attempt at a pop career in India, although I gather this effort did pretty well in the charts!

2 February 2008

More ways of calculating batting averages

Loyal readers of Cricket Burble will remember John Wright's post about alternative ways of working out averages, many months ago: "A Mean Average". And of course you'll also know about Cricket Burble's attempts to reduce the role of luck with "real" averages. This post on a Cricinfo blog also talks about alternatives, the suggesting being to create an "EBA" or Extended Batting Average. It's equally - or perhaps even more - flawed but interesting nonetheless.