What Do You Make of the Numbers?
Recently a commentator in the final of the bi-lateral between India and
England stated that Mithali Raj had just made her 50th ODI 50. The tweet
below shows that you have to be careful how you read stats like that. It may
be true that this is the 50th time she has made a score between 50 and 100,
but not the 50th time she has passed the 50 mark in ODIs because on a number
of occasions she went on to 100 or 100+ .
Hypocaust brings up, directly or indirectly, the point about how we present
numbers. Cricket is a game that lends itself to all sorts of stats, in fact
new ones seem to appear everyday as more and more computer software becomes
available. In fact those that are fluent in the use of spreadsheets can
deduce a huge amount of data to answer all sorts of questions. Some of the
results are more interesting than useful, but there's little doubt that team
analysts derive all sorts of numbers from their work. Some will undoubtedly
be useful to the captain next time she takes the field, but I wonder if some
will simply serve to confuse.
And a related issue - as the ratio of support staff to the number of players
keeps increasing, I wonder at what point it all becomes too confusing. Also,
when we consider the women's game at what point should the money spent on
this reach the level at which it would be a better investment in the future
to support more players. Are we nearly there? There already? Got ages to go
yet? I wonder.