The Gold Standard

Upminster's Nick Ison has drawn up a special graph to check player performance

Upminster's Nick Ison has drawn up a special graph to check player performance - Credit: Archant

Upminster blogger Nick Ison looks at statistics

If you don’t like cricket stats or anything that’s really nerdy, this week’s blog may not be for you.

I was inspired by an article I read on the cricket blog site “51allout” in which they compared England’s all-rounders of the past 20 years to Ian Botham by pure averages and stats.

It involved hours of number-crunching by the original authors and 51allout’s Ashley Michael said: “While there are a number of cricket sites that do statistical analysis, a lot of it is extremely dry and, to be honest, boring.

“We approach things from a slightly different perspective, aiming to take readers on a journey, so that they can actually understand what they're looking at, rather than being fed a bunch of statistical results (ie, the opposite of the 'for nerds by nerds' approach).

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“A big part of this is data visualisation - presenting data in a clear but interesting way. Hence we started with a scatter chart, which is an ideal way to show data with two dimensions (batting and bowling averages in this case).

“As I added more and more low-quality allrounders, it became clear that they were all far worse than Botham, in a way that should somehow be measurable.

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“If I remember correctly, they teach Pythagoras in year nine at school, so it's something that everyone has seen (in theory). Thus using it in this context was designed to a) evoke memories from years gone by and b) provide a simple outcome (ie, a single number of rubbishness that could be applied to everyone).”


I decided to apply the formula used to Upminster’s statistically best all-rounder, Jimmy Neesham.

After carefully choosing the Upminster players to use in the data range, I put them into the 51allout chart, which is split into four quadrants: bowlers who bat, genuine all-rounders, batsmen who bowl and rubbish all-rounders.

Going through the Upminster stats, I could have filled the top left quadrant with 80 per cent of our club.

So, what does 51allout’s chart prove?

Our ex-3rd XI skipper and wicket-keeper is one of the best all-rounders the club has ever produced.

Maybe with a bit of extra training Middlemiss could have been the next Neesham?


The Heesham Deficit

A bit of maths can be used to determine how far behind these players are, taking into account the batting and bowling averages.

To do this, we draw a line on the 51allout model from their point in the chart to Neesham’s and work out how long that line is, by using a spot of good old-fashioned Pythagoras.

The bigger this number, the further behind a player is.


Player/Neesham Deficit

Lorne Sprigg - 6

Brian Peters - 12.4

Alan Ison - 19.7

Douglas Hondo - 21.1

James Evans - 24.5

Billy Gordon - 26.4

Paul Middlemiss - 29.6

Nicky Ison - 32.5

Terry Wyatt - 33.5

John Curtis - 42.2

Chris Cully - 42.3

Billy Wright - 42.4

S Butt - 43

Alex Mitchell - 43.2

Kevin Roome - 47.2

Jeff Mack - 51.7




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