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Thread: It's not about the stats; it's about the joy

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    Englishman BoyBrumby's Avatar
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    It's not about the stats; it's about the joy

    Timely article from former England batsman Ed Smith on how the sublime in sport cannot be measured in statistics alone. Ironically from the home of statsguru cricinfo.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Smith
    Mark Waugh's Test match average was "only" 41 (that still sounds pretty good to me, but it's undeniable that lots of players average 41 these days). But the numbers don't reflect the pleasure he gave. A sublime Waugh flick through midwicket was only worth four runs - the same as an ugly thick edge from a lesser batsman - but it was worth much more to those who paid money to watch.
    As good a summation of why we cricketing romantics will always cherish the lithe, quicksilver genius of a Brian Lara over the starchy functionalism of a Jacques Kallis.
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    Hall of Fame Member grecian's Avatar
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    Statistically speaking 87% of this article was based on pure conjecture and bias. I don't think we can take it seriously until he comes up with a proper formula, Enjoyment+Runs>stat-wanking.

    or summat.
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    Cricket Web Staff Member Burgey's Avatar
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    Ikki and Honestbharani to comment.
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    Cricketer Of The Year Cabinet96's Avatar
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    It depends whether you view enjoyment more than results when defining greatness. Don't particularly agree with him tbh.
    Quote Originally Posted by Flem274* View Post
    This English top three are cornflakes. They're not the most exciting thing out but they're pretty effective. Then the middle order are the sugar. Would be too much on their own but added to the cornflakes they add some much needed interest

    When KP returns he will be the banana..


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    Hall of Fame Member Furball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoyBrumby View Post
    Timely article from former England batsman Ed Smith on how the sublime in sport cannot be measured in statistics alone. Ironically from the home of statsguru cricinfo.



    As good a summation of why we cricketing romantics will always cherish the lithe, quicksilver genius of a Brian Lara over the starchy functionalism of a Jacques Kallis.
    True, but Mark Waugh is a pretty bad example to use to put his point across.

  6. #6
    Hall of Fame Member Howe_zat's Avatar
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    True - but we also get enjoyment from those who were the best at winning the game, not just aesthetics. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't enjoy the game if my side looked good all the time but couldn't win. It's a fine balance to strike.
    And we still haven't walked in the glow of each other's majestic presence.

  7. #7
    Cricketer Of The Year Agent Nationaux's Avatar
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    Afridi FTW

    In all seriousness, it was a nice read but he only talked about the batsmen, and didn't say anything about the bowlers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BoyBrumby View Post
    Yeah, look, it gives me a pain deep inside my uterus to admit it, but it's Ajmal until such time as we get a working throwing law again.
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    Cricket Web Staff Member / Global Moderator Neil Pickup's Avatar
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    I'm afraid I'm not agreeing with Ed here - and, the more I think about it, the more I'm confused as to the point the article is making.

    Yes, greatness transcends statistics, but consistent performance and victories create greatness. More often than not the theatre of sport comes through commitment and determination under pressure rather than any exhibitionist keepy-uppy: even a scrappy match can be thrilling and engrossing.

    It's interesting to try to relate these ideas to my coaching philosophies - which are ultimately pretty simple and boil down to (i) team spirit and unity, (ii) hard work and (iii) executing the basics properly. I know this works: my teams have almost always had the ability to transcend the sum of their parts, share a sense of humour and achieve results. It's not generally pretty (although it's not quite Stokeball, it's not Barcelona).

    We had a fixture last week to round off the rugby season, the final of the inter-house competition. My lot were understrength, and probably giving away 6 inches and 2 stone apiece across the back-line... yet we managed what must have been 70% possession, and managed to prevail 24-19 because every single player hit rucks, got into position, ran straight, looked after the ball, and kept discipline at the breakdown. The same boys managed a 7-0 victory earlier in the term despite spending the final 15 minutes in their own 22' with 14 men.

    I would take that kind of effort every single time over tika-taka with no end result. The only time I am satisfied with a defeat as a coach is when I know nothing has been left on the pitch: so much of sport is about team performance, not individual dominance.
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    Global Moderator Prince EWS's Avatar
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    Somewhat surprising to you all I'm sure, I actually agree with large parts of the article.

    As a cricket fan who watches a ****load of cricket (often matches of which I have no emotional investment in the result), there's a lot more to appreciate about the game than how effective each player and each team is. Some players are better to watch than others, some players are more likeable than others and sometimes you just want a player to succeed for no apparent reason. The aspects the game that can't be measured statistically like pressure and momentum are all absolutely fantastic as well.

    Cricket is about much, much more than statistics and results as a fan, however I think people let this fact muddy the waters of their judgement when it comes to evaluating a player's quality. The quality of a player to his team is not really effected by whether or not I like watching him play or how much BoyBrumby wants him to succeed; his quality is determined by how good he is at cricket and his value to his side. Determining how good someone is/was and how much you liked watching them play are two completely different things AFAIC.
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    Cricketer Of The Year Cabinet96's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prince EWS View Post
    Somewhat surprising to you all I'm sure, I actually agree with large parts of the article.

    As a cricket fan who watches a ****load of cricket (often matches of which I have no emotional investment in the result), there's a lot more to appreciate about the game than how effective each player and each team is. Some players are better to watch than others, some players are more likeable than others and sometimes you just want a player to succeed for no apparent reason. The aspects the game that can't be measured statistically like pressure and momentum are all absolutely fantastic as well.

    Cricket is about much, much more than statistics and results as a fan, however I think people let this fact muddy the waters of their judgement when it comes to evaluating a player's quality. The quality of a player to his team is not really effected by whether or not I like watching him play or how much BoyBrumby wants him to succeed; his quality is determined by how good he is at cricket and his value to his side. Determining how good someone is/was and how much you liked watching them play are two completely different things AFAIC.
    Completely agree.

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    International Vice-Captain robelinda's Avatar
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    Yeah I rarely care about victories etc, I just want to watch good looking cricket. Its not very often i will revisit a famous victory, but a stylish Mark Waugh 60 from the early 90's in some lost match i would definitely revisit. Much prefer to watch that Ponting 164 regardless of the fact we lost the match, magnificent innings, like the Sachin 175. I laugh at those who banish those innings to the depths of hell because they weren't in a winning cause, pure batting awesomeness.
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    Englishman BoyBrumby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Pickup View Post
    I'm afraid I'm not agreeing with Ed here - and, the more I think about it, the more I'm confused as to the point the article is making.

    Yes, greatness transcends statistics, but consistent performance and victories create greatness. More often than not the theatre of sport comes through commitment and determination under pressure rather than any exhibitionist keepy-uppy: even a scrappy match can be thrilling and engrossing.

    It's interesting to try to relate these ideas to my coaching philosophies - which are ultimately pretty simple and boil down to (i) team spirit and unity, (ii) hard work and (iii) executing the basics properly. I know this works: my teams have almost always had the ability to transcend the sum of their parts, share a sense of humour and achieve results. It's not generally pretty (although it's not quite Stokeball, it's not Barcelona).

    We had a fixture last week to round off the rugby season, the final of the inter-house competition. My lot were understrength, and probably giving away 6 inches and 2 stone apiece across the back-line... yet we managed what must have been 70% possession, and managed to prevail 24-19 because every single player hit rucks, got into position, ran straight, looked after the ball, and kept discipline at the breakdown. The same boys managed a 7-0 victory earlier in the term despite spending the final 15 minutes in their own 22' with 14 men.

    I would take that kind of effort every single time over tika-taka with no end result. The only time I am satisfied with a defeat as a coach is when I know nothing has been left on the pitch: so much of sport is about team performance, not individual dominance.
    Smith isn't suggesting that at all, he baldly states of sportsmen "They must try to win, too (no one is entertained by skill without will)."

    He's not espousing a particular coaching philosophy either, just that statistics don't tell the full measure of a sportsman's worth.

  13. #13
    Virat Kohli (c) Jono's Avatar
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    Sportsman's worth to who? To the fans no.

    But to his team?
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    Hall of Fame Member honestbharani's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prince EWS View Post
    The quality of a player to his team is not really effected by whether or not I like watching him play or how much BoyBrumby wants him to succeed; his quality is determined by how good he is at cricket and his value to his side. Determining how good someone is/was and how much you liked watching them play are two completely different things AFAIC.


    The quality of a player is something that cannot EVER be perfectly quantified, IMO. My signature has a quote that enunciates it better than I can ever do.
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    Quote Originally Posted by vic_orthdox View Post
    In the end, I think it's so utterly, incomprehensibly boring. There is so much context behind each innings of cricket that dissecting statistics into these small samples is just worthless. No-one has ever been faced with the same situation in which they come out to bat as someone else. Ever.
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    Hall of Fame Member honestbharani's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jono View Post
    Sportsman's worth to who? To the fans no.

    But to his team?
    Even to the team, I don't think stats ever tell the story.

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