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  #1  
Old March 14, 2009, 12:01 PM
rimon88 rimon88 is offline
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Default Desperate option for Bangladesh: MoneyBall cricket

Do we have lack of cricket talent? No we don’t. It takes time to nourish the talent to reach their peak. We all know that. BCB is doing a good job scouting that talent and streamlining them with world class training. Of course there is scope to do lot better. And we all believe with time BCB will continue to do lot better. Time and time again Bangladesh cricket team showed us what it can do by blowing away giants of cricket world. So why do we have lack of continuation of improved cricket? Everybody is looking for that answer. And the answer is: MoneyBall Cricket.

We have enough talent to compete with any team in the world. May be they don’t make that much money or their names are not advertised that much. But our country cricket is at a point where our team talents can keep the games very close. And the close games that’s where we are not winning. MoneyBall cricket can win us those games. It’s the fine tuning of our player recruiting that will solve the equation. Money Ball is a concept off western professional sports that’s been around for a decade but it’s been about five years that it’s been storming all professional sports around the globe. Bangladesh should adopt the MoneyBall cricket immediately.

The virus that infected professional baseball in the 1990s, the use of statistics to find new and better ways to value players and strategies, has found its way into every major sport. Not just basketball and football, but also soccer and cricket and rugby and, for all I know, snooker and darts — each one now supports a subculture of smart people who view it not just as a game to be played but as a problem to be solved. Outcomes that seem, after the fact, all but inevitable are instead treated as a set of probabilities, even after the fact. The games are games of odds. Like professional card counters, the modern thinkers want to play the odds as efficiently as they can; but of course to play the odds efficiently they must first know the odds. Hence the new statistics, and the quest to acquire new data, and the intense interest in measuring the impact of every little thing a player does on his team’s chances of winning. Bill James — the figure most responsible for the current upheaval in professional sports — and decided that what he really wanted to do with his life was put Jamesian principles into practice. He nursed this ambition through a fairly conventional academic career, which eventually took him to M.I.T.’s Sloan School of Management. There he opted for the entrepreneurial track, not because he actually wanted to be an entrepreneur but because he figured that the only way he would ever be allowed to run a pro-sports franchise was to own one, and the only way he could imagine having enough money to buy one was to create some huge business. “This is the 1990s — there’s no Theo,” Morey says, referring to Theo Epstein, the statistics-minded general manager of the Boston Red Sox. “Sandy Alderson is progressive, but nobody knows it.” Sandy Alderson, then the general manager of the Oakland Athletics, had also read Bill James and begun to usher in the new age of statistical analysis in baseball.

Central premise of Moneyball

The central premise of Moneyball is that the collected wisdom of baseball insiders (including players, managers, coaches, scouts and the front office) over the past century is subjective and often flawed. Statistics such as stolen bases, runs batted in, and batting average, typically used to gauge players, are relics of a 19th-century view of the game and the statistics that were available at the time. The book argues that the Oakland A's front office took advantage of more empirical gauges of player performance to field a team that could compete successfully against richer competitors in Major League Baseball. Rigorous statistical analysis had demonstrated that on base percentage and slugging percentage are better indicators of offensive success, and the A's became convinced that these qualities were cheaper to obtain on the open market than more historically valued qualities such as speed and contact. These observations often flew in the face of conventional baseball wisdom and the beliefs of many baseball scouts and executives.

Several themes Lewis explored in the book include: insiders vs. outsiders (established traditionalists vs. upstart proponents of Sabermetrics), the democratization of information causing a flattening of hierarchies, and the ruthless drive for efficiency that capitalism demands. The book also touches on Oakland's underlying economic need to stay ahead of the curve; as other teams begin mirroring Beane's strategies to evaluate offensive talent, diminishing the Athletics' advantage, Oakland begins looking for other undervalued baseball skills such as defensive capabilities.
By re-evaluating the strategies that produce wins on the field, the 2002 Athletics, with approximately $41 million in salary, are competitive with larger market teams such as the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, who spend over $100 million in payroll. Because of the team's smaller revenues, Oakland is forced to find players undervalued by the market, and their system for finding value in undervalued players has proven itself thus far.

Several themes Lewis explored in the book include: insiders vs. outsiders (established traditionalists vs. upstart proponents of Sabermetrics), the democratization of information causing a flattening of hierarchies, and the ruthless drive for efficiency that capitalism demands. The book also touches on Oakland's underlying economic need to stay ahead of the curve; as other teams begin mirroring Beane's strategies to evaluate offensive talent, diminishing the Athletics' advantage, Oakland begins looking for other undervalued baseball skills such as defensive capabilities.

Moneyball also touches onto the A's methods of prospect selection. Sabermetricians argue that a college baseball player's chance of MLB success is far and away higher than a traditional high school draft pick. Beane maintains that high draft picks spent on high school prospects, regardless of talent or physical potential as evaluated by traditional scouting, are riskier than if they were spent on more polished college players. Lewis cites A's minor leaguer Jeremy Bonderman, drafted out of high school in 2001 over Beane's objections, as but one example of precisely the type of draft pick Beane would avoid. Bonderman had all of the traditional "tools" that scouts look for, but thousands of such players have been signed by MLB organizations out of high school over the years and failed to develop. Lewis explores the A's approach to the MLB Draft, from Beane's often-tense discussions with his scouting staff (who favored traditional subjective evaluation of potential rather than objective sabermetrics) in preparation for the draft to the actual draft, which defied all expectations and was considered at the time a wildly successful (if unorthodox) draft by Beane.

In addition, Moneyball traces the history of the sabermetric movement back to such luminaries as Bill James (now a member of the Boston Red Sox front office) and Craig R. Wright. Lewis explores how James' seminal Baseball Abstract, an annual publication that was published from the late-1970s through the late-1980s, influenced many of the young, up-and-coming baseball minds that are now joining the ranks of baseball management.

Moneyball has made such an impact in professional baseball that the term itself has entered the lexicon of baseball. Teams which appear to value the concepts of sabermetrics are often said to be playing "Moneyball". Baseball traditionalists, in particular some scouts and media members, decry the sabermetric revolution and have disparaged Moneyball for emphasizing concepts of sabermetrics over more traditional methods of player evaluation. Nevertheless, the impact of Moneyball upon major league front offices is undeniable. In its wake, teams such as the New York Mets, New York Yankees, San Diego Padres, St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Red Sox, Washington Nationals, Arizona Diamondbacks, Cleveland Indians[1], and the Toronto Blue Jays have hired full-time Sabermetric analysts. Since the book's publication (and success), Lewis has discussed plans for a sequel to Moneyball called Underdogs, revisiting the players and their relative success several years into their careers.

But while baseball is changing in this way, the nation's other team sports are making far less moves towards changing the way they operate. The only team from outside of baseball to pick up the phone and call Beane to ask for advice is the national cricket team of New Zealand, which sent a group of executives to Oakland to shadow Beane and his staff and learn their lessons.

"I don't know anything about cricket, but I guess Australia and India are like the Yankees and Red Sox and New Zealand is the Oakland of cricket," he said with a laugh.

Today, as general manager of the low-revenue, low-payroll Oakland Athletics, he is finding a way to win on a shoestring, picking players for their skills and track records, rather than any display of athletic ability or potential like Beane once showed.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Michael Lewis is the author of “Moneyball”
Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game (ISBN 0-393-05765-8) is a book by Michael M. Lewis, published in 2003, about the Oakland Athletics baseball team and its general manager, Billy Beane. Its focus is the team's modernized, analytical approach to assembling a competitive baseball team despite Oakland's disadvantaged revenue situation.

Last edited by Zunaid; March 14, 2009 at 12:38 PM.. Reason: edited for readability
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  #2  
Old March 14, 2009, 12:08 PM
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Zeeshan Zeeshan is offline
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lol i feel sorry for the mod who has to skim through it all...
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  #3  
Old March 14, 2009, 12:11 PM
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rimon care to elaborate for us who are non-baseball fans....it sounds like an interesting concept
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  #4  
Old March 14, 2009, 12:20 PM
sbsash sbsash is offline
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wow.Too big.Not reading this whole thing.
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  #5  
Old March 14, 2009, 12:30 PM
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lol...you guys arent readers are you? Its barely two pages long! Sheesh!

Interesting concept rimon...so much so that i might just pick up his book on the way back from work tomorrow...
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  #6  
Old March 14, 2009, 12:33 PM
rimon88 rimon88 is offline
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New Zeland national cricket team is using 'MoneyBall' concept to draft their players since 2003. And we are watching their improvement since then. NZ sent a team to Oakland A's baseball office to get the hands on training on this concept. Bangladesh should send officials to Oakland, U.S. or to NZ to get training.

Sorry about the length of the article but no other better way to explain this concept. If you read this patiently I'll gurantee that you will find the answer for the winning of Bangladesh cricket team.
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  #7  
Old March 14, 2009, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Farhad
lol...you guys arent readers are you? Its barely two pages long! Sheesh!

Interesting concept rimon...so much so that i might just pick up his book on the way back from work tomorrow...
lol i will just wait for the movie.

wikipedia:

Movie
It was announced a movie is set to come out in 2011 based on the book. Actor Brad Pitt is attached to the project (presumably in the role of Billy Beane). Academy Award winning screenwriter Steve Zaillian has been signed to write the script, and David Frankel will direct.[2]
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  #8  
Old March 14, 2009, 12:45 PM
Zunaid Zunaid is offline
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One way to summarize this is to say that traditional statistical measures of player quality are completely off the mark in predicting success. These measures ignore more humble statistics that may be of more importance - in baseball, they could be as humble as the base on balls.
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  #9  
Old March 14, 2009, 12:50 PM
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too long.don't bother to read the whole essay
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  #10  
Old March 14, 2009, 12:55 PM
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Its an interesting concept and I think would be good. For a country like BD which can't pump as much money into the system like Australia does, it would be helpful.
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  #11  
Old March 14, 2009, 03:06 PM
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I don't know how moneyball works in Cricket, Were dealing with International competition not franchises. I know how it works in Baseball just really don't know how it would translate in Cricket. If I had to take a guess it would be High Average/Low Strike Rate players and Vice Versa ... and win with your bowling.

I really don't know
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  #12  
Old March 14, 2009, 03:14 PM
rimon88 rimon88 is offline
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Default hi cricman

New Zealand national cricket team is already using this system for about six years. They can help BCB executives to make them translate the concept in to cricket terms.
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  #13  
Old March 14, 2009, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rimon88
New Zealand national cricket team is already using this system for about six years. They can help BCB executives to make them translate the concept in to cricket terms.
So yeah they'll just select players with different Attributes and tell them just to do that 1 specific thing that they're good at.

Baseball Example:

Adam Dunn,
Strengths: High OBP and HR totals
Weakness: Low Batting Average, High Strikeout Total

Dunns Job is to Hit Homeruns and Draw Walks, as many times as possible, Irrespective of how many games he goes 0-5 with 3 Stikeouts.

A Typical Adam Dunn Game Log would be

0-3
0-3
1-2 (HR)
0-2
1-3
1-3 (HR)

Now for a Cricket Analogy

Javed Omar, His Job would be to stay as long as possible irrespective of the RR and Spittys Wishes for him to retire. (What he did in the DW ERA)

Strengths: Stays in the Wicket for a long time
Weakness: Horrible Strikerate

A Typical JO Game log would be

15(45)
21(35)
34(65)
20(45)
8(24)
6(17)
50(88)

Aftab and JO would be Moneyball Characters in Cricket cause they always did it in one way, they had specfic roles and they always did those roles.
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  #14  
Old March 14, 2009, 04:38 PM
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it's a good concept rimon bro!
i vaguely heard about it.
we should give it a try!
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  #15  
Old March 15, 2009, 12:10 AM
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WOAH! That's long, but I actualy read it xD
Its an interesting concept i must say.
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  #16  
Old March 15, 2009, 01:22 AM
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"Do we have lack of cricket talent? No we don’t."

Did not read anything after that....but yes we do lack talent!!
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  #17  
Old March 15, 2009, 03:13 AM
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Good topic, "sharthok".....

Read 50 percent..........interesting......Late welcome to BC.......
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  #18  
Old March 15, 2009, 05:50 PM
rimon88 rimon88 is offline
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With our limited resources the utter most professionalism of the team's management and players will give Bangladesh an edge for success. This is the game of cricket but for them it is also a job. When they treat it like one we'll all have fun.
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Old March 15, 2009, 09:26 PM
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Wow that is a kind of long but good concept. Surely not ehtesham sort of shot..
Welcome to BC rimon88...
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Old March 15, 2009, 09:49 PM
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Doesn't Nasu already provide some of this breakdown? I brought this topic up a while ago but am now too lazy to look up the post
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  #21  
Old March 16, 2009, 12:31 PM
rimon88 rimon88 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by auntu
Wow that is a kind of long but good concept. Surely not ehtesham sort of shot..
Welcome to BC rimon88...
I appreciate that auntu. Hope to have enlightened conversation here.
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  #22  
Old March 17, 2009, 05:34 AM
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rimon, read about the concept and also googled a bit.

I guess some differences in the situations between a baseball club and a cricketing nation need to be emphasised :

a baseball club has to compete with other clubs for the same pool of players
a national cricket team can get the very best of the talent pool.

which means that unless the talent hunt itself doesn't throw up good players, there isn't much a selection body can do, be it club level or national.
and due to the competition, a club with a smaller budget has to go for cost-effective players, NOT SO for a national team, they can get the VERY BEST the country has to offer.

The ONLY part that I feel is relevant to BD cricket is the part about prediction of future talents.
however I think cricket with all its statistics and analysis already does that reasonably well.
it would be interesting to know what new parameters this concept uses and the cricketing parallels. may be this can be improved.

for a country to come up with a good talent pool it is essential that the sports is seen as viable livelihood, evn if he is not a regular in the national side.
what is the current situation in bangladesh ?
can a good first class player who plays regularly for his side but can't break into the national team make enough money over his career to justify it ?
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  #23  
Old March 17, 2009, 09:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neel Here
rimon, read about the concept and also googled a bit.
...
I wanted to quote the whole post it was that good. Great work (analysis) done Neel. Welcome to Banglacricket. Looking forward to read more of your valuable posts.

Dear Rimon,
Good thread but I think our environment is not as Oakland A's. I am not sure how NZ is evaluating their prospects. May be a know-how can help.
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  #24  
Old March 17, 2009, 11:53 AM
rimon88 rimon88 is offline
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"MoneyBall" concept is the maximisizing the use of resources (that will be the talent scouting and the financing) to play the 'odds' in your favaour to solve a puzzle. This concept originated in business world and universally practiced successfully in all sorts of sports. Every business and game situation is a puzzle to be solved. Its all about knowing more about your team's 'odds' to have success.

Once Bangladesh cricket team can gain more knowledge of their 'odds' using "MoneyBall" concept the better it gets of scouting talents in the team to solve the puzzle of the cricket game.
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Old March 20, 2009, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rimon88
"MoneyBall" concept is the maximisizing the use of resources (that will be the talent scouting and the financing) to play the 'odds' in your favaour to solve a puzzle.
that is all well and good but too general as far as we are concerned. unless we get to know what are the actual parameters used and if the cricketing parallels are relevant or not it's all mumbo-jumbo to us, the latest fashionable fad if you will.
pardon me if I'm not overtly willing to fall for the latest management magic word.
after all, the devil lies in the details.

another thing we should keep in mind, it's not that the conventional wisdom in choosing future talent doesn't work, big budget teams that still follow the old ways are not doing too badly are they ?

only downside is that they will create a larger pool of not so good players but perhaps that is not such a bad idea for a nation !!
think for a moment what would happen if all baseball clubs went the minimalist way in order to conserve resources, the result would be a massive shrinkage in junior level players, would that be really good for the sport as a whole ?!
US can afford to go this way in baseball only as long as they don't have to play a powerful foreign team in that !
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