ODI rankings before the 2019 World Cup

Note these rankings published on May 22, 2019.

The Tests had got over by May 2, the ODIs by May 21 and some T20Is are in progress among minor teams such as Namibia and Kenya.

We concentrate on the ODI rankings:

ICC ratings May 22 2019

We see that the top 10 teams are indeed the same teams playing in the World Cup.

This ranking seems to show that England and India are close together, followed by the pair of South Africa and New Zealand. Next is Australia and there is a steep fall to Pakistan and the others. This seems to conform to general opinion. As Australia had been without two of their key players for a year, they now have the capacity to get a semi-final place at the expense of South Africa or New Zealand.

You can also see the T20I rankings of the major teams.

 

 

A mockery of cricket (2)

As earlier mentioned, all T20 matches between ICC members now have T20I status. This has led to highly one-sided results, though there have also been surprises such as the Thai women’s team winning against Sri Lanka.

We now come to the case of non-local players in a national team. Some teams such as the UAE have been doing this for years, But one should remember that more than 50% of UAE’s population are expatriates, many of whom are from cricket majors such as India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Oman and Hong Kong have followed a similar policy, as have other potential “major market” teams such as the USA and Canada. Some African teams such as Kenya have  Asian players whose families have lived there for generations, similar to the Kallicharans and Chanderpauls of the West Indies.

China, to its credit, has stuck to indigenous players in spite of suffering heavy losses.

Countries of the British Isles have (in recent years) been dependent on “imports” from various sources such as Australia, South Africa, the West Indies and South Asia. Admittedly, many of those from the “white Commonwealth” (such as Trott, Strauss, Pietersen and Caddick) are those whose families had migrated FROM Britain one or two generations ago.

And there are weird cases such as Andrew Symonds (born in Britain to West Indian parents, grew up in Britain, played for Australia). Another is Dimitri Mascarenhas (born in Britain to Sri Lankan parents, grew up in Australia and finally played for England).

And there are those of Asian origin such as current players Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid and others from the recent past such as Ravi Bopara and Monty Panesar who have lived in Britain all their lives.

Dependence on foreign players (even if they are from former colonies) seems to be important in some major soccer teams, a good example being France. But there have been critics of this from within France, particularly when they won the World Cup in 1998 (when Zidane scored the first two goals in the final). Politicians such as Le Pen had nasty things to say then.

Now we come to the western European countries. Apart from the Netherlands, there is little tradition of cricket and most teams have to depend on imports (especially from South Asia, predominantly from Pakistan and now Afghanistan).

To prove this point, we look at the recent 3-match T20I series between Belgium and Germany. Belgium met its Waterloo, losing 3-0 in the matches played at (where else?) Waterloo.

You can see details of this series here:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/scores/series/19254/germany-in-belgium-t20is-2019

Let us take the scorecard of any of the matches, say the second one:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/19254/scorecard/1183921/belgium-vs-germany-2nd-t20i-germany-tour-of-belgium-2019

We can see that the German team has 10 of the 11 members clearly from South Asia, certainly from India and Pakistan and perhaps Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. There is one with an Anglo-Saxon name called Daniel Weston who was born and brought up in Australia (Perth) but NOT Germany. Presumably all are citizens or permanent residents of Germany, but what is it doing to popularize cricket among the average sports followers in Germany? Not much.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Weston

Now look at the Belgian team.

All 11 in the team appear to be of Pakistani or Afghan origin. (Possibly some are from India, but I doubt it). And both Germany and Belgium do NOT have a tradition of immigration from South Asia as Britain has.

What good is this doing to develop European cricket if the match between Germany and Belgium includes 21 South Asians and one Aussie? Particularly when practically all of these players would be unlikely to make any decent team in their own country?

And the German and Belgian sports fans would stick to watching their soccer, hockey or tennis players rather than cricket.

Tail piece: In the 3rd T20I Weston did not play so  the match could well be described as German South Asians vs Belgian South Asians.

 

A mockery of cricket (1)

Over the last year, the ICC has decided to give T20I status to ANY match between mens sides (as well as womens sides) from countries whose cricket boards are part of ICC. This is regardless of cricketing ability.

This also means that all T20Is starting from 2018-2019 (for women’s matches) and 2019 for men’ s matches are included in official statistics as well as official rankings.

You can see statistics on http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html or similar sites.

And ICC rankings can be seen here: http://www.relianceiccrankings.com/test/date-specific.php  for player rankings

and http://www.espncricinfo.com/rankings/content/page/211271.html  for team rankings.

One expected outcome was very one-sided matches, such as this:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/story/_/id/25749943/all-14-china-slump-lowest-women-t20i-total

in which China was all out for 14 in 10 overs, in reply to UAE’s 203/3 in 20 overs. China’s efforts included 6 ducks and an unbeaten 0.

From the scorecard http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/19111/scorecard/1171353/china-women-vs-united-arab-emirates-women-group-a-thailand-womens-t20-smash-2018-19

we see that China at least has all or most of the players from their own country, while UAE’s team seems to include players from India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka with a token local player (much like the UAE’s men’s teams of the past).

Knowing the Chinese, they will gradually get better and will probably be challenging established teams after a few years. At the time of writing in May 2019, you can see that UAE is ranked 16th and China 75th (out of 79). China is one of the 6 teams with zero points.

If this is a mockery of international cricket, there is a still bigger mockery when the national team of a Western European country entirely consists of South Asians. And that is true of men’s cricket as well. This will be covered next.

Review of World Cup performances up to 2015: Bowling

Most wickets (25 and above):

WC-25 and more wickets

McGrath and Muralitharan are quite ahead of the others.

The best for India is 44 by Zaheer Khan and by Srinath, in 5th/6th place.

McGrath and Afridi are the only ones with two five-fors.

Muralitharan, Warne, Afridi and Tahir have four four-fors.

Best innings bowling (including all instances of 6wi and better):

WC-6wi and better

McGrath has the best figures of 7-15 against Namibia, while Bichel’s 7-20 against England may be considered more significant.

India’s best is 6-23 by Nehra in 2003 which is the 6th best. Kapil’s 5-43 in 1983 was the first five-for by India in any ODI.

Bowling averages: Minimum 1000 balls and maximum 45.00:

WC-bowling avg

McGrath and Imran Khan have the best averages of 18.19 and 19.26 respectively. The best for India is by Zaheer Khan (20.22) in 4th place.

The best economy rates are by Roberts (3.24) and Botham (3.43).

The best strike rates are by Malinga (23.8) and Zaheer Khan (27.1)

Review of World Cup performances up to 2015: Batting

We start our review of World Cup performances from 1975 to 2015.

First, runs scored (750 and above):

WC-750 and more runs

Ponting has played in most matches (46) followed by Tendulkar with 45 and M Jayawardene with 40.

Tendulkar has the most centuries (6) follwed by Ponting and Sangakkara (5).

The most scores of 50+  are by Tendulkar (21) followed by Sangakkara (12) and Ponting (11).

It can be seen that Tendulkar has a large lead with 2278 runs against the next highest (Ponting) with 1743. The highest among current players are Gayle and Guptill with 944 and 809 respectively.

Highest individual scores (130 or more):

WC-Innings of 130 or more

It can be seen that Kapil’s 175* in 1983 was then the World cup record, though Viv Richards overtook it with 181 in 1987. That was also the first ODI century for India.

The two highest scores above are by Guptill and Gayle, who will be here in 2019. Other high scores by current players are by Warner and Amla.

Footnote: Matches had 60-over innings from 1975 to 1983, before the 50-over innings became standard.

Highest batting averages (Minimum 20 innings, 30.00 and above):

WC-Bat Avg 30 or more

The best career figures here are by de Villiers, closely followed by Clarke and Viv Richards. The best averages by current players are by Gayle and Ross Taylor. Others such as Virat Kohli have not played 20 innings yet.

But some of the less experienced players can be found here:

Best batting strike rates (Minimum 500 balls faced, 80.00):

WC batting strike rate 80 and more

Here Mc Cullum leads despite a relatively low average. He is followed by de Villiers and Kapil.

It is also interesting to see that A Symonds averaged over 100 in World Cup matches though he did not bat enough to reach the cutoff of 20 innings.

Amla (!), Dhoni and Gayle have the highest strike rates among current players.

Next we will look at bowling performances.

IPL 2019 at the three-quarter mark

On Apr 24, the 42nd match was played which brings us to the three-quarter stage of the league matches. The story so far:

IPL 2019 after 42 matches

We look back at the final tables of the past 3 tournaments. Note that each team plays 14 matches.

2018: In descending order 18,18, 16,14,12

2017: 20,18,17,16,14

2016: 18,16,16,16,14

Conclusion: To qualify for the semis, you need 16 points (or 8 victories) to be assured of a place. If you are very lucky (as RR was in 2018) 14 points maybe enough to scrape through.

Now see what your favorite team needs to qualify.

It appears that the top 4 teams above are the ones which will go into the last 4. After that it is a lottery.