Reviews, Opinions, Analyses, Stats and Numbers

Game On Hai - 17 June 2017

Complete Show

June 17, 2017


Game On Hai - 17 June 2017

June 17, 2017


India vs Pakistan Cricket – Contest beyond just Cricket

This article was first published on February 28, 2016, after Pakistan’s loss to India in Asia Cup. It remains current and accurate, still, after latest clash between the two sides ICC Champions Trophy 2017 at Birmingham.

Growing up watching Miandad and Imran stepping into the peak of their careers and transforming Pakistan team from a 'good-contest' to a fierce competitor, I always considered myself lucky to have witnessed that transformation. Along the way, also came that fascinating period of total dominance of Pakistan over the arch rivals, India.

Published by Scoreline on April 19, 2017. Click here to continue reading on Scoreline Portal


Qualification Quest - WC 2019 and ICC ODI Rankings

In 11 editions of ICC Cricket World Cup, only 5 teams have managed to win that prestigious ICC event. World Cup 2019 will be the first time in the history where two full members of ICC will be forced to take part in a qualifying tournament. The possibility of one of the 5 former Champions ending up being one of those two full members has added a never-before thrill and curiosity in the Cricket world.

Published by Scoreline on April 19, 2017. Click here to continue reading on Scoreline Portal


How ICC Rankings Annual Update Works

ICC operates a ranking system to rank men’s teams playing across Test, One-Day International and Twenty20 International formats and women’s teams playing One-Day International and Twenty20 International cricket.

ICC publishes up to date current ranking of teams according to that system on its official portal - ICC Team Rankings

ICC Rankings changes overnight once every year when ICC updates Ranking Points of each team to keep the Rankings current and accurate. The update takes place on 1st May every year when the ICC ODI Rankings are adjusted according to these predefined rules:

  • Any points earned earlier than the last 36 months (since 1 May of 3 years ago) are discarded
  • Weightage of all points earned between the last 13 to 36 months (between the May of 3 years ago to April of previous year) is set to 50%
  • All points earned during the last 12 months (from May of previous year to April of current year) continue to carry the weightage of 100%

Till 30 April of the next year, the above rules remain in effect. Till the next annual update, points earned by matches played during this period are simply added into the annually updated rankings as on 1st May to give the current ICC Rankings. That means, on every 30 April of a year:
  • Points earned during the previous 24 months (since the May of two years ago) are counted with 100% weightage.
  • Points earned in between the previous 25th and 48th months (since the April of 2 years ago to May of 4 years ago) are counted with 50% weightage.
The idea of ICC ODI Rankings was to build a mechanism to quantify the success of different teams, benchmark their performance and identify the top, the average and the below par teams at certain point in time. The mechanism works on a combination of performance in a match and the current form of the competing teams.

The official ICC website describes the Rankings in these words: 

A team that, over the period being rated, wins as often as it loses while playing an average mix of strong and weak opponents will have a rating of close to 100. A rating of 100 could also correspond to a side that wins more often than it loses but who has generally played more matches against weak teams. Similarly, if the majority of its matches are against strong teams, then a rating of 100 could be achieved despite having more defeats than victories.

It is quite often the case that there are a number of teams in the 90-110 range. These teams are of broadly similar standard. A rating above 120 suggests consistently strong performances. Above 130 is rarely achieved and suggests a high degree of dominance over all other teams.
For the purposes of quick referencing, ranking of 100 can be considered as par, 120 as excellent and 130 above as exceptional. This piece of information helps a lot in seeing a team’s ranking in the context of its own ranking points instead of judging its performance only on the basis of where it stands in the list of twelve ODI Ranked teams at any point.

Theoretically, a team can come out as the number one ranked team in the world with 110 ranking points as well but in the context of strength of performance, that number one ranked team may fall way behind a number one ranked team with 130 ranking points or even a number two or number three team with 120 points.

The other aspect of ICC ODI Rankings is the recent form of the teams. The idea there is to gage the consistency in performance of a team over a period of time and reduce the impact of occasional spike in the performance of any team. The rankings are designed to judge the teams during a reasonable period rather than on the basis of few good or bad series or matches. For that reason, ICC ODI Rankings includes the performances of last 3 to 4 years as detailed earlier.

On that note, it is also worth having a look at how different teams have performed during recent ICC ODI seasons as it also gives a fair idea of why and how some teams will benefit from the annual update and some teams will lose some points (and ranking position). Having a look at the points earned during specific seasons also indicates the trend of improvement or decline in the recent performance of teams. It clearly answers why certain teams enjoy a high ranking position even after performing badly in recent times whereas some teams are struggling in the lower half of the table even after performing better. 


Captain Azhar - The latest tale of (mis)management

Finally, the curtain has fallen on Captain Azhar and not only him but along with him, 'batsman Azhar' has also vanished from Pakistan's One Day International scene. Just about a month ago, he was seen on the global stage as the captain commanding his troops in a foreign territory and within no time, he has been ostracized completely from the limited overs affairs of Pakistan Cricket. First, being denied a single match in the PSL where he was a regular feature of the side in the last year's edition and then, being omitted from Pakistan ODI side that he proudly led for almost two years.

Published in SCORELINE on March 18, 2017. Click here to read the article on Scoreline Portal.


Cricket and Technology

March 9, 2017: DRS, no DRS. Hawk Eye, no Hawk Eye, Snicko, no Snicko. Heat map, no Heat map. Review, not to Review.In recent times, all these questions have made cricket, the sports already perceived too complex to understand, even more confusing and complicated for not only super loyal fans but players as well. Now, as soon as a decision making event happens in Cricket, the first question that comes to mind is not of out or not out but which of the technology tools are available.... continue reading


PSL Final in Lahore - An Emotional Blunder

Published in ScoreLine on February 27, 2017

The objective was to bring back International Cricket not the PSL (without International Players). PSL without its foreign players on the roster is as good as a domestic tournament that can neither have nor it has any influence of bringing International Cricket back to Pakistan.


Players Performance Benchmark View - Pakistan vs Australia ODI Series 2017

Here is a quick summary view of how players from both teams performed, during recently concluded Pakistan vs Australia ODI Series, with respect to common performance benchmark of an ideal performance.

The calculation is pretty simple. For all Batting Performances, the Series Batting Average of each batsman was divided by 40, the generally accepted benchmark batting average in ODIs. Similarly, Strike Rate of 100 was taken as a benchmark and each Batting Strike Rate was divided by 100. Then both of these factors to give a Quality Factor. To map quality with length of performance(s), this quality factor was then multiplied by the total runs scored by each batsman during the series.

Unlike bowling where each bowler is restricted to a maximum quota of balls he could bowl in a match regardless of how good he bowls in that particular match, a batsmen gets the chance to play out even all of 50 overs. This at times, means the batsmen coming later in the order rarely gets a chance to play as many overs as a top order batsman can. For this purpose, the product of quality factor and total number of runs was further divided by number of innings batted by that batsman to give the benchmark rating. To make it easier to relate and assess, these ratings were further scaled to a scale of 100 where rating of 100 means an ideal performance of 40 runs at a Strike Rate of 100. Anything above is considered an above par rating and anything below as below par rating.

Applying this method gives the following view of the series:

Similarly, for bowling performances, Bowling Average of 25, Economy of 6 Runs Per Over and Bowling Strike Rate of 30 balls per wicket (2 wickets in 10 overs) was used as a benchmark performance. The total quality points were then scaled to a scale of 100 to provide the performance rating where a rating of 100 means a par performance.

Since bowling performances in an ODI are already limited to a maximum quota, as explained earlier, no further calculations were done in that regard. Similarly, unlike batting where there is no maximum limit of runs to be scored or conceded by a batting or bowling team, the bowling performances of a bowling unit are already confined to maximizing of 10 wickets by the bowling team which means that in case of a good or exceptional performance by a bowling team, not all bowlers gets a chance to bowl their whole quota even when they would like to, so the factor of number of balls bowled by a bowler has been ignored.

Applying this method on bowling performances, gives the following view:


Consolidated Rankings

as of January 24th


TV, Radio and Web Shows

On Samaa News - 30 March 2022

On Dawn News 26 Feb 2022

On Samaa News 21 Feb 2022

On Dawn News 14 Feb 2022

Radio Caravan - 17 May 2019

On Radio Caravan - 4 May 2019

On Dawn News TV -- 24 April 2019

On Hum News Live - 28 March 2019

On Radio Caravan - 20 April 2019

On BBC Urdu

On BBC Urdu
Discussion about ICC Rankings Update