How to make MyCricket more accurate
Cricket Australia’s MyCricket website is a fantastic resource for cricketers around Australia. With a few keyboard strokes, cricketers can check their last ten years of stats, and compare themselves with club rivals, association-leading players, and even Shield cricketers.
Occasionally, this can be pleasantly surprising. But mostly, it’s about as fun as being kicked in the balls – like when you realise you’ve been shit since the 1990s, and that you can’t exaggerate your past performances anymore.
(“I averaged 98.9 back in ’07/’08!” “Actually, Joffa, you’ve got the decibel point in the wrong place there.”)
MyCricket is also responsible for tens of thousands of middle-aged Aussies realising that dream is dead: there’s no way Australia will debut a bloke averaging 116 with the ball in c-grade.
And yeah, I’m talking about myself there.
But whilst MyCricket has certainly injected a lot into the local game, it still leaves a lot to be desired in terms of stats relevant to suburban cricketers. Because real cricket – suburban cricket – is a much more nuanced game than your regular test match.
Here are my tips for how to make MyCricket more accurate for suburban cricketers:
#1: Include dropped catches
As a frustrated bowler, I’d love a metric to record how many catches are dropped off my bowling. During one particularly dark season, I reckon that for every wicket I took, I had four dropped catches off my bowling.
And yes, this might’ve been inflated by the fact I only took three wickets for the year… and that I dropped most of the catches myself… but my point still stands.
It would be great for MyCricket to track the amount of catches dropped off your bowling, and compare it to how many catches are taken.
As a bowler, you’d end the season by measuring your wickets-to-dropped-catches ratio. A ratio of 1:1 would be par for the course. A ratio of 3:1 (in favor of wickets) would be outstanding. And if you’re looking at a ratio of 1:6 – then you’re probably splitting your time between applying for new clubs and feeding your crippling alcohol addiction.
And hey, whilst we’re talking about inflicting pain on bowlers…
#2: Fire up the Hackometer
CricInfo has started showing dot balls in their bowling stats. I’ll go one better for batsmen – can we start showing how many “ugly” runs they’ve made?
We’ve all had days where we’ve had a shocker in the field, and had to return to the club to explain how you let the ladder-dwellers post 3/400. And the story is always the same:
“I’m telling you, they were shithouse! Sure, they made 400-ish – but they were bloody ugly runs! Some bloke named Biffa french-cut his way to 238 not out.”
Now, when I say “ugly runs”, I’m talking nicks over the slips, big swings with closed eyes, and heaves, from outside off, over square leg. Real hatchet jobs that make your bowling figures balloon and your blood pressure rocket.
Ugly, ugly, ugly runs. So, let’s use MyCricket to separate the wheat from the chaff: if more than 50% of your runs are “ugly”, then you’re not the big deal you think you are.
Another way we can do this is by introducing…
#3: Pass marks for banter
No matter what grade of cricket you play, you’ll occasionally play with or against some really dodgy cricketers. Blokes named Nobba and Chocko who get bowled more often than breakfast cereal, and exclusively serve up half volleys. But they’ve played the full season in the twos! Why?
Turns out that their chat, their talk, their bantz, is totally off the charts, peaking at Christmas when Nobba yelled out to an opposition batsman, “I hope you pull better in the bedroom, mate”.
Directed at their opposition, sometimes directed at the umpires, but mostly directed at their own team mates, Nobba and Chocko help the team get over the line – or over depressing thumpings – by using their tonsils rather than their bats. And now, you’ll see that in MyCricket.
And that’s not the only new
#4: Apply the hangover offset
Have you ever heard the phrase, “I do my best work when I’m drunk?” You often get it from the same kinda blokes who call their beds “the workbench” and who thrive in the middle of cricket club lock-ins.
A club I’ve played at has a bloke in our ones who takes a boat load of wickets, year-in and year-out. He’s a reliable workhorse who hits batsmen like a big red van, and unlike Australia Post – he always delivers.
But it’d be interesting to see his bowling stats offset by how many VBs he’s had the night before. I’ve heard rumors and whispers, hearsay and slander that suggest he does his best work after working through a slab the night before – and I’m not talking about concrete.
#5: Widen the dismissal range
MyCricket lists the ways you’ve gone out. “B” for “bowled”. “C” for “caught”. But I don’t think these regular dismissals cover all the ways you can be out in suburban cricket.
How about “TUAB“, or “Thrown Under A Bus“? We’ve all been run-out by a bloke whose hunger for runs outweighs his commitment to you.
What about “SHBOE“? All park cricketers have come up against a bloke who made fifty, sixty, seventy – maybe even a ton – but they “Should Have Been Out Earlier.” “Yeah, he made sixty, but SHBOE. The Big Dog dropped him eight times.”
Or “RFU” – “Really Fucking Unlucky“. You woke up on Saturday morning with this strange feeling of calm. It could’ve been the lack of blood going to your brain because of you massive morning wood, but you knew that this was your day. This is the day you crack a ton, and convince your team mates that you’re the least-luckiest number eight in the business. And it all goes well until, twenty runs in, you moose a full-blooded pull shot that the one-armed one-eyed pea-headed Milo-Have-A-Go child sub-fielding at square leg snaffles a horizontal one-handed catch.
Anyway. How about we:
#6: Pump up the DFR scale
The DFR scale may seem like a phrase you’ve never heard before – but if you play suburban cricket, chances are your whole team, or club, or association tracks it on a comp-wide basis.
DFR stands for “Due For Runs”. The more a batsman fails, the more the DFR – or due for runs – scale increases. Maybe you’re tracking the DFR of an absolute jet in the First XI, who hasn’t scored a run since the season before. Maybe you’re tracking your own DFR, as you cling on to your position in the fourths on your fielding alone. Either way, it’s a valuable metric.
MyCricket is a fantastic resource. Deep down, I think that every park cricketer in Australia dreams of seeing their name on the front page, which lists the best bowling and batting performances of the previous week. And their Facebook posts, about men and women who’ve dominated on the weekend, are always on-point and entertaining, and occasionally, inspiring.
But always remember: scorecards, even comprehensive ones like MyCricket, don’t tell the full story. And with team mates like ours, we may never get the full story, anyway.
How would you improve MyCricket? Is there a stat that MyCricket isn’t tracking that you think it should? I’d love to read your comments.