Comparing Batsmen Across Different Eras: The Ends of the Distribution Justifying the Means

Brown, H. Shelton (2001) Comparing Batsmen Across Different Eras: The Ends of the Distribution Justifying the Means. Discussion Paper No. 289, School of Economics, The University of Queensland.

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Author Brown, H. Shelton
Title Comparing Batsmen Across Different Eras: The Ends of the Distribution Justifying the Means
School, Department or Centre School of Economics
Institution The University of Queensland
Report Number Discussion Paper No. 289
Publication date 2001-05-01
Subject 230204 Applied Statistics
Abstract/Summary The debate over the quality of modern batsmanship in cricket parallels the debate over the disappearance of the 0.400 hitter in baseball. This paper shows that as bowling and fielding skills have improived over time, the best batting averages in cricket, which are in the right tail of the distribution, have declined. This does not imply poorer batting skills. Both decadal standard deviations and coefficients of variation reveal wider variations in batting averages in previous decades, especially the 1940s. The batting average actually measures batting skill in relation to bowling and fielding skills, the latter of which, it is argued, have improved over time. Therefore, by mistakenly interpreting the batting average as an absolute measure of batsmanship, cricket experts and fans under-appreciate the skill of modern batsmen. The paper attempts to make a meaningful comparison of modern batsmen to non-modern batsmen through use of the Z transformation.
Keyword batsmen
cricket
batting averages
batting skill

Document type: Department Technical Report
Collection: Discussion Papers (School of Economics)
 
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Created: Tue, 08 Jun 2004, 10:00:00 EST by Belinda Weaver (EA)