Wednesday, November 09, 2005

ICC revises definitions of Test & ODI matches

Fellow ACS member Kendix David - the man behind ICC's cricket rating - has been kind enough to inform about ICC's recent decision to change the definitions of OFFICIAL Test and ODI.This, I feel,was necessary after continuing critism from leading cricket statisticians world over. This is what David wrote in his email:

"In the light of a series of recent ICC decisions to grant official status to matches involving the top six Associates as well as matches in the Johnnie Walker Super Series, the Tsunami Appeal and Afro/Asian Cup matches, ICC recognised the need to update its definitions of Test and ODI matches

The alternative to ICC updating its definitions would have been for the status of every 'non-traditional' match to continue to be considered on a case-by-case basis. ICC's preference was that future decisions be taken according to specified criteria rather than on an ad hoc basis.

Accordingly, at the recent meeting of the ICC's Executive Board in Sydney, a detailed paper on this subject was considered and, following a debate, a new set of definitions was duly agreed. It should be noted the Executive Board, which is the ultimate decision making body in the game, is comprised mainly of the Chairmen of each of the ten Full Member countries.

The paper debated by the Board stated that the "views of the Association of Cricket Statisticians have been sought on this matter and the feedback and views received have been incorporated".

As the governing body of world cricket, ICC maintains it has every right to determine for itself which matches are deserving of official status.

The definitions of Test and ODI cricket have now been broadened and may well be wider than many ACS members would have liked. Nevertheless, at least there is now improved clarity, which itself should be welcome.

It was pointed out to ICC that some statisticians would still choose not to include these additional matches in their published records. The ICC responded that they "would have no objection to the 'traditional' Test and ODI matches being recorded as a subset of all official Test and ODI matches".

There are two areas where the Executive Board has taken an interim decision and undertaken to review it in two years' time. These relate to the Asia Cup and Afro/Asian matches.

ODI Item B (iv) below relating to the ICC Trophy may require some elaboration. My understanding is that the top 6 Associate status runs from the end of one ICC Trophy to the start of the next one. The five ICC Trophy matches to be given official status will thus all be those played by teams who at the time are guaranteed a top 6 finish and will thus be ODI countries for the next four years.

Members with any queries on the interpretation of these new regulations should feel free to contact me and I will attempt to resolve any queries through a subsequent posting..

The full wording of the new definitions of Test and ODI matches is as follows.

Test matches are those which:

A) Are played in accordance with the ICC Standard Test Match Playing Condition and other ICC regulations pertaining to Test matches; and

B) Are between:

i) Teams selected by Full Members of the ICC as representative of the Member Countries (Full Member Teams) Note: This refers to the Senior National teams not "A" teams or age-group teams; or

ii) A Full Member Team and a composite team selected by the ICC as representative of the best players from the rest of the world. (The Johnnie Walker Super Series Test Match will fall into this category).

ODI matches are those which:

A) Are played in accordance with the ICC Standard One Day International Playing Conditions and other ICC regulations pertaining to ODI Matches; and

B) Are between:

i) Any teams participating in and as part of the ICC Cricket World Cup or ICC Champions Trophy; or

ii) Full Member Teams; or

iii) A Full Member Team and any of the Associate/Affiliate Member teams whose matches have been granted ODI status (i.e. the top 6 Associates/Affiliates); or

iv) Any of the Associate/Affiliate Member teams whose matches have been granted ODI status (i.e. either as a top 6 Associate/Affiliate or as an Associate/Affiliate competing in the final, semi finals, 3rd and 5th place play offs of the ICC Trophy ); or

v) A Full Member Team and any Associate/Affiliate match played as part of the Asia Cup. This provision would be reviewed after two years.

vi) A team selected by the African Cricket Association and the Asian Cricket Council and played as part of the Afro/Asia Cup. This provision would be reviewed after the conclusion of the 2007 event.

vii) A Full Member Team (or a Top 6 Associate/Affiliate) and a composite team selected by the ICC as representative of the best players from the rest of the world (The Super Series 1 day matches would fall into this category)."

Interestingly Bill Frindall - the renowned cricket statistician - is not at all impressed with ICC's decisions. This is what Frindall replied when yours truly asked for his opinion.

"It's a classic case of moving goalposts to suit one's own convenience, in this case after the event(s) concerned have taken place.

It will not affect my excluding composite matches from the main Test and LOI records."

Clearly we haven't heard the last word on this tussle.

Two wides & a no-ball

Two wides and one no-ball, this was all what Indian bowlers and fielders conceded as extras in the sixth one-dayer against Sri Lanka at Rajkot. It was a refreshing change from the past when Indians would invariably give away a lot of runs in byes and leg-byes. Not to forget the numerous wides and no-balls sent down by our bowlers.

The three extras in Sri Lankan innings are the least conceded by India in any ODI equalling the performance of 1982-83 squad against Pakistan at Lahore. There have been three instances of four extras and another seven of five extras conceded by India in an innings.

Rajkot match provided only the fourth instance of Indian fielders not conceding any bye or leg-byes in opposition's total of 150 or more. The other three instances have been - v Pakistan at Sharjah in 1991-92, v West Indies at Harare in 2001 and v Sri Lanka at Colombo in 2002-03.

Incidentally the ODI record of least extras conceded by a side in opposition's all-out total of 150 or more is held by South Africa. In a Morrocco Cup match at Tangier in 2002, South Africa conceded only one extra (one wide) in Pakistan's total of 188.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Plethora of records for Dhoni

Mahendra Singh Dhoni set a plethora of records during his brilliant innings of 183 not out in the third one-dayer against Sri Lanka at Jaipur. Some major are:

- When he reached 50, Dhoni became first Indian wicketkeeper to score a fifty against Sri Lanka in India. Interestingly, he held the previous highest score by an Indian wicketkeeper against Sri Lanka in India with his 38 at Nagpur on October 25, 2005.

- When he reached 100, he became first wicketkeeper to score two separate hundreds on Indian soil. By reaching three-figure mark, he also provided the first instance of wicketkeepers from the opposing sides scoring a hundred in the same match.

-When he reached 146, he established the highest score by an Indian wicketkeeper against Sri Lanka, obliterating Rahul Dravid's 145 at Taunton on May 26,1999.

-When he reached 149, he achieved his highest score in ODIs as well as the highest ever innings by an Indian wicketkeeper, beating his own 148 against Pakistan at Visakhapatnam on April 5, 2005.

-When he reached 154, he achieved the highest score by a batsman in ODIs batting second, expunging West Indian Brian Lara's 153 against Pakistan at Sharjah on November 5, 1993.

-When he reached 155, he set a new record of highest score by a wicketkeeper against Sri Lanka, bettering Australia's Adam Gilchrist's 154 at Melbourne on February 7,1999.

-When he reached 170, he set a new world record of highest individual innings by a batsman at number 3, bettering West Indian Brian Lara's 169 against Sri Lanka at Sharjah on October 16, 1995.

-When he reached 173, he established a new world record of highest score by a wicket-keeper in ODI history surpassing Australia's Adam Gilchrist's 172 against Zimbabwe at Hobart on January 16, 2004.

-The last six to end the match was Dhoni's tenth in the match -- a new Indian record of most sixes, beating the tally of seven sixes by Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly (twice). Only Sanath Jayasuriya and Shahid Afridi have hit more sixes than Dhoni in an innings (11 apiece).

-The tenth six also took Dhoni's run-aggregate in the match in boundary shots to 120 (10 sixes and 15 fours) -- a new world record. The previous record was jointly held by Pakistan's Saeed Anwar against India at Chennai on May 21, 1997 and New Zealand's Lou Vincent against Zimbabwe at Hobart on August 24, 2005.

- His innings of 183* is now the highest ever by any batsman against Sri Lanka in ODIs. He joined fellow-countryman Sourav Ganguly, who also registered an identical score (but was dismissed) at Taunton on May 26,1999.

-This was the third time he ended a match with a six. The earlier such occasions were -- against the West Indies at Dambulla on July 31,2005 and against Zimbabwe at Harare on September 4, 2005.He now holds the Indian record of ending a match (on a winning note) with a six on most occasions.

He was previously at level with Kapil Dev and Sachin Tendulkar with two such instances each.

- Dhoni took his career strike-rate to 108.90 at the end of this match -- highest by any batsman in ODIs (having batted in at least 20 innings). He went ahead of Pakistan's Shahid Afridi, who has scored his runs at a rate of 108.20 runs per 100 balls.

-At the end of this match, Dhoni's average is a staggering 49.73 -- the highest by any Indian batsman (having scored at least 500 runs in a career). He moved ahead of Sachin Tendulkar, who averages 44.67.