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Transcription from my comments to a facebook thread, discussing cricket vs baseball. (August 2015)

on topic of cricket... is there a statistic of scoring-strokes relative to 'strokes faced'? I don't want strike-rate - which measures against runs - I want something more directly comparable to the baseball batting average. :)

shots faced vs shots scored off...

... it's thinking that has stemmed from the old "easier to hit a cricket ball, or a baseball?" question, but has more generally diverged to finding equivalent statistics.

Baseball has a strict tip-and-run rule, so I considered whether the cricket equiv should count touches that don't score, but I don't think it's worth it (it would be measuring a more different thing, plus couldn't be calculated by reviewing scoresheets after the fact :)

I'm curious how cricketers compare in this metric, since Baseball has the holy 0.300 and 0.400 averages... I'm thinking that in 20/20, the same calculation could easily be around 0.6 or 0.7

balls faced

looking at the baseball average... it's H (hits) divided by AB (at bat)

In baseball, a hit is simple: it's when a batter hits the ball and safely reaches first base (ie, not caught, not foul, not reaching first base for other reasons). Thus it pretty easily correlates to "scoring shot".

But "at bat" - this is trickier, since it may involve facing multiple balls. (for instance, a batter could face three "ball", then two strikes, and make a hit on the sixth - and it would count as H++ and AB++ for the purposes of the average.

Thus for a cricket equiv - would you include wides? leg byes? noballs?

My gut feel is that any valid bowl counts as an 'at bat' (so, ignores noballs), whilst a 'hit' is any scoring shot credited to the batsman (so, no leg byes, but DOES include runs if made from a noball). This means there is a theoretical possibility of a >1.000 result.

I just discovered that baseball has a 'slugging percentage' measure, which gives doubles/triples and homeruns an appropriate 2x, 3x and 4x multiplier, rather than just treating them all equally as a "hit". I like this number much more than the battingaverage, but is diverging from the comparison I'm wanting to make, which is to demonstrate that baseball is boring cos the batter rarely hits the ball, compared to cricket where scoring shots are much more common. :)

I've also started wondering what a hybrid game might look like. You make the correlation of the baseball strike zone to the cricket wicket - both are what the pitcher/bowler must target to achieve a direct out - so with that in mind, you could drop popping crease where the pitchers mound is, and put some stumps in front of the catcher. Method of delivering the ball and setup of the batsman is cricket, but rules otherwise would be baseball - gotto bowl the stumps three times for an out. Batsman leaves the ball (and it misses the stumps) four times and it's a walk. tip and run. I initially thought hit-by-pitch would conflict with LBW, but in reading up on that more, looks like they correlate quite well, though a hit-by-pitch resulting in a strike is apparently quite rare, in contrast with LBW.

Conversely, you could drop baseball pitching and batting into the game of cricket... but... I've not thought that one through anywhere near as much :)

Actually, given that baseball is a game of outs, broken up by exciting hits, putting those into cricket, which is otherwise designed for a game of hits (broken up by exciting outs), would be quite dull.

Putting cricket bat-and-ball into a baseball context seems much more viable to produce entertainment without additional rule meddling.

I think.

(I'd note that I'm using this game to try and understand baseball better - it's not a sport that interests me beyond it's contrast with cricket - which itself is one of the very few sports I even vaguelly follow... :)

(to expand on cricket-within-baseball - running between bases would be baseball style. You'd rotate through the batsman as per baseball style, and change innings as per baseball. I think it would be quite interesting to see how you'd organise the batting order for this... Bowler rotation would be cricket style I think. I don't think there is a need for the concept of wides, as the batsman can easily leave those, and achieve a walk after four smile emoticon. A cricket batsman can place the ball much better than a baseball batter, so I think the potential for interesting play is high. Lower order batsman would likely fail either by being triple-bowled out, or fail to hit well and either get caught, or would hit poorly and so be run out failing to achieve a base - so innings would rotate at a reasonable(?) pace

to expand on baseball-within-cricket - using equivalent substitutions as before - means the batter would be out after a single strike - which would be quite common - and you'd chew through the whole team quite quickly, and then you're done. I suspect you'd be able to play a "test match" of four innings within an afternoon...

Alternative "baseball style" batting average for Cricket:

  • Hits as per above - a batting stroke from which a run is scored
  • "At Bat" - rather than "a ball faced from which you could get out" (ie, exclude noballs and free hits, but otherwise is per-ball), is counted per over - where at least one ball is faced.

Note that this could easily give the apparently nonsensical (in Baseball terms) result of a batting average of >1. However, it would combine well with the cricket 'strike rate' to give a sense of 'lots of singles' vs 'lots of misses and occasional 6'. (a batsman who scored 6 singles in an over would have a SR of 100, but a BA of 6.000. A batsman who had 5 leaves, and a 6, would ALSO have a SR of 100, but a BA of "only" 0.166.

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