Making sure you have the best possible access to the rules and formulae relating to cricket is important, as without it you may find that the rules and points system seem complex. In fact, it’s all fairly simple, and the points system also allows you to keep track of the performance of an individual player as well as his team. For big fans of specific cricketing icons, this is a great source of information on their playing career.
However, it’s also a great way to do some research – if you’re wondering who the best bowler will be as you’re sitting on thesportsmirror before the match begins, then it’s worth knowing who’s going to do the best out of an entire team. Read on to find out more about player rankings and points for when you’re next sat down watching cricket.
The Reliance ICC Player Rankings are a sophisticated moving average. Players are rated on a scale of 0 to 1000 points. If a player’s performance is improving on his past record, his points increase; if his performance is declining his points will go down.
The value of each player’s performance within a match is calculated using an algorithm, a series of calculations (all pre-programmed) based on various circumstances in the match.
All of the calculations are carried out using pre-programmed formulae, using the information published in a Test match scorecard. There is no human intervention in this calculation process, and no subjective assessment is made of the quality of the pitch or of the players.
Test Match Rankings
For a batsman, the factors are:
- runs scored
- ratings of the opposing bowling attack; the higher the combined ratings of the attack, the more value i s given to the batsman’s innings (in proportion)
- the level of run-scoring in the match, and the team’s innings total; an innings of 100 runs in a match where all teams scored 500 is worth less than 100 runs in a match where all teams were bowled out for 200. And if a team scores 500 in the first innings and 200 in the second innings, a century in the second innings will get more credit than in the first innings (because the general level of run scoring was higher in the first innings)
- out or not out (a not out innings receives a bonus)
- the result. Batsmen who score highly in victories receive a bonus. That bonus will be higher for highly rated opposition teams (i.e. win bonus against the current Australia team is higher than the bonus against Zimbabwe.)
For a bowler, the factors are:
- wickets taken and runs conceded;
- ratings of the batsmen dismissed (the wicket of Rahul Dravid is worth more than that of Glenn McGrath – but if McGrath’s rating improves, the value of his wicket will increase accordingly)
- the level of run-scoring in the match; bowling figures of 3 for 50 in a high scoring match will boost a bowler’s rating more than the same figures in a low scoring match;
- heavy workload; bowlers who bowl a large number of overs in the match get some credit, even if they take no wickets;
- the result. Bowlers who take a lot of wickets in a victory receive a bonus. That bonus will be higher for highly rated opposition teams.
Bowlers who do not bowl in a high-scoring innings are penalized.
The players’ ratings are calculated by combining their weighted performance in the latest match with their previous rating. This new ‘weighted average’ is then converted into points. Recent performances have more impact on a player’s rating than those earlier in his career, but all his performances are taken into account. A great player who has had a lean run of form will still have a respectable rating.
Players who miss a Test match for their country, for whatever reason, lose 1% of their points.
New players start at zero points, and need to establish themselves before they get full ratings. There is a scale for calculating qualifications. For example, a batsman who has played 10 Test innings gets 70% of his rating (i.e. his rating will be between 0 and 700 points). He doesn’t get 100% until he has played 40 Test innings. A bowler who has taken 30 wickets also gets 70% of his full rating. He doesn’t get 100% until he has taken 100 Test wickets. This means that successful new players can enter the top 30 after just a few Tests, but are unlikely to reach the world top 5 until they have many Test matches under their belts.