Data Analytics: Key decision maker in Cricket

Cricket is said to be a game in which you get to see two thrillers in one match. The eternal verity which extends to all facets of this game is the factor that it could be anyone’s game till the last ball.

But what if we assume the ball as data and analyse the whole game around it? The result is very aptly termed as ‘Criclylics’ and it is the way cricket is consumed in the extant cyber age. ‘Criclytics’ is a genius fusion of cricket and big data analytics empowering us to make accurate predictions for a game that is known to be unpredictable.

Data capture and increased level of insights

The resultant cognizance from the superior insights that we now have, unfettered by arbitrariness, equip broadcasters, players and die-hard fans to enjoy the success of their predictions with a much greater zeal. With the ball and its movement on the ground into the bargain - wearable computers, CCTV cameras, and sensors are some of the progressive high-tech devices used on field nowadays to monitor and capture the rampant volumes of cricket data.

Humongous amount of data generation

Under the International Cricket Council (ICC) there are 10 full time member countries, 38 associate member countries and 57 affiliate member countries, bringing the total count to 105 member countries. Now imagine these teams generating data every day for 365 days with the ball by ball information of 5,31,253 cricket players in close to 5,40,290 cricket matches at 11,960 cricket grounds across the world. keeping a track of each and every aspect of cricket players’ performance, training levels, intake of calories, interaction with fans and many more in the pursuit of 'improved performance on the pitch'.

Pivotal role in world cup

The dependency of the stake holders of cricket on big data analytics can be witnessed from the fact that in the recent ICC Cricket World 2015 almost every team had its own crew of data analysts. This starts the new era of analysis in the game of cricket. Similar level of data analytics will be witnessed in the upcoming ICC T20 world cup 2016, rather more rigorous, more intense then what was witnessed last year. Having a dedicated data analytics crew for your team empowers team captain to take appropriate decisions as now he is using statistical tools which can predict the probability of Suresh Raina performing up to the scratch, playing in a specific pitch under a given weather for a certain zone against a particular left-hand bowler. Each player’s performance is influenced by the permutation and combination of various independent factors such as the opponent team’s strengths and weaknesses. And in order to deal with this erraticism, it’s the crew of data analytics who accrue and analyze past data on scores, player performance, player profiles and more not only to come up with the ideal team composition but also to answer questions like who do you pick to bowl the final over.

History and way ahead

Several decades ago, in the year 1922, two teams from New South Wales played a testimonial match for Charles Bannerman. Len Watt, a former grade cricketer, was given a microphone and was told to “go on talking”, making it the first radio coverage of a cricket match and so radio commentary became the best way to catch the cricket action in that era. Then in the year 1946, live TV coverage became a regular feature and changed the way we imbibe cricket. By the same token, it may well now be the age of data which is revolutionizing analytics driven fan engagement by creating interesting suite of products in this multi-screen era. This being the case, ‘Criclytics’ indubitably has the potential to change the way we consume and play cricket.

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