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  #1  
Old December 13, 2011, 09:23 AM
1RParker 1RParker is offline
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Default Moneyball: the answer to our cricketing woes?

Taken from a description of the book "Moneyball":

Billy Beane, general manager of MLB's Oakland A's and protagonist of Michael Lewis's Moneyball had a problem: how to win in the Major Leagues with a budget that's smaller than that of nearly every other team. Conventional wisdom long held that big name, highly athletic hitters and young pitchers with rocket arms were the ticket to success. But Beane and his staff, buoyed by massive amounts of carefully interpreted statistical data, believed that wins could be had by more affordable methods such as hitters with high on-base percentage and pitchers who get lots of ground outs. Given this information and a tight budget, Beane defied tradition and his own scouting department to build winning teams of young affordable players and inexpensive cast-off veterans.
Lewis was in the room with the A's top management as they spent the summer of 2002 adding and subtracting players and he provides outstanding play-by-play. In the June player draft, Beane acquired nearly every prospect he coveted (few of whom were coveted by other teams) and at the July trading deadline he engaged in a tense battle of nerves to acquire a lefty reliever.

Besides being one of the most insider accounts ever written about baseball, Moneyball is populated with fascinating characters. We meet Jeremy Brown, an overweight college catcher who most teams project to be a 15th round draft pick (Beane takes him in the first). Sidearm pitcher Chad Bradford is plucked from the White Sox triple-A club to be a key set-up man and catcher Scott Hatteberg is rebuilt as a first baseman. But the most interesting character is Beane himself. A speedy athletic can't-miss prospect who somehow missed, Beane reinvents himself as a front-office guru, relying on players completely unlike, say, Billy Beane. Lewis, one of the top non-fiction writers of his era (Liar's Poker, Next), offers highly accessible explanations of baseball stats and his roadmap of Beane's economic approach makes Moneyball an appealing reading experience for business people and sports fans alike.


I wonder to what extent this pure statistic approach could be adopted for team selection for a successful Bangladeshi team.

It would have to be married with a policy – mooted by Mushfiqur after the latest test match debacle – of a lot more domestic first class cricket so that a useful statistics base could be built up.

I would like the following statistics to be used:

Batting and bowling averages (obviously)
Balls faced by batsmen (would be crucial for determining test match mentality)
Performances against pace bowling/spin bowling
Performances against left hand/right hand opponents
How out
Boundaries
Singles (crucial in ascertaining ability to rotate strike)
Performance when chasing or setting targets
Performance in different weather conditions

And many many more criteria.

I am sure that selectors and coaches are mindful of statistics when selecting players for the national team – the point is that they could make it a purely statistical exercise. If it worked for the Oakland A’s – why not for Bangladesh? We could not be worse than we are presently and we really need to do something different to stop the rot.
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  #2  
Old December 13, 2011, 09:52 AM
oronnya oronnya is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1RParker
Taken from a description of the book "Moneyball":

, general manager of MLB's Oakland A's and protagonist of Michael Lewis's Moneyball had a problem: how to win in the Major Leagues with a budget that's smaller than that of nearly every other team. Conventional wisdom long held that big name, highly athletic hitters and young pitchers with rocket arms were the ticket to success. But Beane and his staff, buoyed by massive amounts of carefully interpreted statistical data, believed that wins could be had by more affordable methods such as hitters with high on-base percentage and pitchers who get lots of ground outs. Given this information and a tight budget, Beane defied tradition and his own scouting department to build winning teams of young affordable players and inexpensive cast-off veterans.
Lewis was in the room with the A's top management as they spent the summer of 2002 adding and subtracting players and he provides outstanding play-by-play. In the June player draft, Beane acquired nearly every prospect he coveted (few of whom were coveted by other teams) and at the July trading deadline he engaged in a tense battle of nerves to acquire a lefty reliever.

Besides being one of the most insider accounts ever written about baseball, Moneyball is populated with fascinating characters. We meet Jeremy Brown, an overweight college catcher who most teams project to be a 15th round draft pick (Beane takes him in the first). Sidearm pitcher Chad Bradford is plucked from the White Sox triple-A club to be a key set-up man and catcher Scott Hatteberg is rebuilt as a first baseman. But the most interesting character is Beane himself. A speedy athletic can't-miss prospect who somehow missed, Beane reinvents himself as a front-office guru, relying on players completely unlike, say, Billy Beane. Lewis, one of the top non-fiction writers of his era (Liar's Poker, Next), offers highly accessible explanations of baseball stats and his roadmap of Beane's economic approach makes Moneyball an appealing reading experience for business people and sports fans alike.


I wonder to what extent this pure statistic approach could be adopted for team selection for a successful Bangladeshi team.

It would have to be married with a policy – mooted by Mushfiqur after the latest test match debacle – of a lot more domestic first class cricket so that a useful statistics base could be built up.

I would like the following statistics to be used:

Batting and bowling averages (obviously)
Balls faced by batsmen (would be crucial for determining test match mentality)
Performances against pace bowling/spin bowling
Performances against left hand/right hand opponents
How out
Boundaries
Singles (crucial in ascertaining ability to rotate strike)
Performance when chasing or setting targets
Performance in different weather conditions

And many many more criteria.

I am sure that selectors and coaches are mindful of statistics when selecting players for the national team – the point is that they could make it a purely statistical exercise. If it worked for the Oakland A’s – why not for Bangladesh? We could not be worse than we are presently and we really need to do something different to stop the rot.
exactly.. while watching the movie I was thinking about our cricket... itz not always the players who makes the difference... we already have bunch of talented players... but itz the honest and dedicated management and coaching staffs who can bring the best out of even an ordinary player... our management is busy making money, selectors are busy thinking about their own club, and the new coach is clueless.. I was niether a fan of Siddons nor a hater... but since he left the performance of our team is below par and somehow I've started to miss him....most importantly the whole team is lacking the passion which is very opposing to what we have seen in 2009-2010.. I think Siddons himself being such a passionate guy was succesful to instill the passion among the players and that made the ordinary tamim-shakib-imrul n few others to be outstanding... I want to see that passion for win in BCB, coach and players just like Billy Beane who think more about the team than the money... seriously someone please convey this msg to BCB ...everything is just going out of our hand.. we are busy blaming the players and overlooking the root problem...
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  #3  
Old December 13, 2011, 09:58 AM
MohammedC MohammedC is offline
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Nice movie liked it.

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  #4  
Old December 13, 2011, 11:29 AM
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Holden Holden is offline
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This is a very interesting topic, and there was a really good article on cricinfo on this subject.
Cricket still relies mainly on averages, which do not tell the full story, for example Thilan Samaraweera has the same average as Brian Lara (and higher than Gavaskar, Waugh twins, Gilchrist, Laxman, Amla, De Villers etc), he's a good player no doubt, but he's no Lara.
In the article it mentions many indicators that are as important, if not more important than a players average but rarely get mentioned such as a player's percentage of the team's runs, scoring-shot percentage and a top-order/lower order wicket ratio/percentage. Cricket has a lot of catching up to do with regards to baseball and other sports in this field.
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  #5  
Old December 13, 2011, 11:47 AM
1RParker 1RParker is offline
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Location: Sunderbans
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Holden
This is a very interesting topic, and there was a really good article on cricinfo on this subject.
Cricket still relies mainly on averages, which do not tell the full story, for example Thilan Samaraweera has the same average as Brian Lara (and higher than Gavaskar, Waugh twins, Gilchrist, Laxman, Amla, De Villers etc), he's a good player no doubt, but he's no Lara.
In the article it mentions many indicators that are as important, if not more important than a players average but rarely get mentioned such as a player's percentage of the team's runs, scoring-shot percentage and a top-order/lower order wicket ratio/percentage. Cricket has a lot of catching up to do with regards to baseball and other sports in this field.
That is indeed a very interesting article on Cricinfo. I honestly think that Bangladeshi cricket could be and should be at the forefront of the moneyball approach to cricket. I wonder whether our management are even aware of moneyball?!
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