Baseball vs Cricket

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See BaseCricket for a discussion of baseball style batting average in the context of Cricket.

Cricket is a sport of statistics. So is baseball.

Modern baseball even has "Sabermetrics" - being the field of empirical analysis of the sport.

Comparing the two sports, then, requires finding either directly comparable numbers (eg, bowls per minute vs pitches per minute), or equivalents (can you create a cricket equivalent of a baseball Batting Average? Or a baseball equiv of a cricket Strike Rate or Economy Rate?

I'm coming to this from familiarity with Cricket, so I'm going to take some baseball statistics, and try to work out cricket equivalents.

There are numerous statistics, and the value of each is debatable, but there seems to be three for batters, and three for pitchers which have been exalted in the form of the "triple crown".

  • Batting
  1. Batting Average -
  2. Home runs -
  3. Runs batted In -
  • Pitching
  1. Wins -
  2. Strikeouts -
  3. Earned Run Average -

I believe rough cricket equivalents would be as follows:

  • Batting Average - count of scoring strokes / total balls faced (ie, opportunities to get out)
  • Home runs - sixes (because "over the fence")
  • Runs batted in - no equivalent (because a batsman's efforts never count to someone else's runs)
  • Wins - no equivalent (because cricket has a range of bowlers, rather than one pitcher central to the 'attack')
  • Strikeouts - no equivalent I think?
  • Earned Run Average - something similar to economy rate?


Proposed statistics: "Scoring Effectiveness and Scoring Power"

Scoring Effectiveness is the count of scoring strokes divided by the total balls faced. Presented as a value between 0 and 1, it is the equivalent to the baseball style batting average mentioned above. Scoring Power is similar to strike rate, but instead of averaging score against 100 balls faced, it averages score against 100 scoring balls faced. This fits into existing statistics well. Effectiveness is a number between 0 and 1 (0 being "never makes a scoring shot" and "1" being "never has a dot ball"), and power is a number between 100 (every scoring stroke is a single) and 600 (every scoring stroke is a six). The traditional strike rate can be calculated by the multiplication of these two new numbers. SE and SP thus provide the detail that is lacking in the traditional SR number. Consider two hypothetical players, both with a Strike Rate of 100.

  • Player one hits a single off every ball faced.
  • Player two hits a six once an over. Player one has power of 600, but efficiency of 0.16

Player two has power of 100, but efficiency of 1. The values of power can vary from 100 to 600, whilst the values of efficiency are from 0 through to 1.

To use a real world example, Chris Gayle equalled the T20 fastest 50 (in 12 balls) on 2015 Jan 18. He got out after 17 balls, with a score of 56. He scored runs off 13 of those 17 balls.

  • Scoring Power: 56/13 as a percentage: 431 (or "4.3 runs per ball he scored from")
  • Scoring Effectiveness: 13/17 = 0.764

In this example Chris' traditional strike rate for the innings was 329 (56/17 as a percentage)

  • Strike rate (SR): 56/17 as a percentage: 329
    • Also calculatable as "power*effectiveness": (56/13)*(13/17) where that mathematically reduces to 56/17 as per above)

This matches observation - he scored 7x 6s, 2x 4s, no 3s, 2x 2s, 2x 1s = 13 scoring strokes for 56 runs.

2016/2017 BBL Effectiveness and Power



397 feet (121metres) is average home run distance - I am certain that the average 6 is shorter than that (90-110 metres for a guess) - but I'd also suspect that baseball batting action is more inherently powerful than the normal cricket batting action - combined with a (usually?) faster ball too, it is not surprising.


I'm planning a bit of an in-depth "objective" statistical comparison of Major League Baseball (US Baseball) to the Big Bash League (AU T20 Cricket). See MLB vs BBL

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