Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Cricket formula 'fairer'

Eric Crampton points out that the guy who had the office next door to me in the Commerce Building at the university, when we had offices and a commerce building, has made the news.
Self-confessed cricket nut Scott Brooker has created an adversary to the complex cricket-target formula used when rain disrupts play.

Brooker yesterday graduated from Canterbury University with his PhD on "An economic analysis of ability, strategy and fairness in one-day international cricket".

It marked the culmination of four years' work that began with "a phone call out of the blue" from the university's economics department asking him to investigate alternatives to the controversial Duckworth-Lewis method.

Adopted by the International Cricket Council in 1999, the method is used when rain disrupts play, leaving one team fewer overs to score the required runs.

"What the Duckworth-Lewis method does is calculate what the target score should be based on the time that is left to play," Brooker said. "I show the Duckworth-Lewis method is better than the other systems used for international cricket before, but it is still not perfect and it can still be improved."

Brooker said his system used a different criterion of fairness to adjust the target score, based on the probability of winning before rain disrupted play.

"If you have a 60 per cent chance of winning when it rained, the readjusted target score should still be that you have a 60 per cent chance of winning the game," he said.

Brooker, who works as a business intelligence analyst at Yellow in Auckland, said his system was not perfect but would be more easily understood by players and fans.
Many an hour was spent arguing cricket with Scott. Congratulations to him on what is one most important theses done at the university!

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