“Statistical Modelling” appears to be an all encompassing term. Looks like anything can be attempted to be modelled statistically. Over the past 3-4 years, I learnt about different techniques for statistical modelling as well as its applications in the areas of natural language processing and others. However, it never occurred to me that all that can possibly have applications in sports (Hmm… I have no option but to acknowledge my peanut brain!)
A couple of days back, I was reading this book “IPL: Cricket & Commerce, an inside story” by T.R.Vivek and Alam Srinivas. Apart from providing news,gossip,financial details, sport, spirit and the emotional experiences during IPL-1 and 2, this book also had an interesting story to tell. It was on Rajasthan Royals success during IPL-1, and its comparison with a US Baseball team – Oakland A’s, whose success in 2003 was described in a book called “MoneyBall”. I did not read this book, but read what Vivek and Srinivas wrote about it here.
Basically, the Oakland A’s manager Billy Beane redefined the rools of team selection, by using rigorous statistics as a means of team selection. As a result, Oakland A’s was very successful during that season. Apart from collecting a lot of statistics on the minute details of the game, Oakland A’s also developed its own statistical model of the game and players, taking cue from one firm called AVM systems.
In terms of cricket, if such a model were to be created, assisted by huge amount of statistics, it should be able to answer questions like – which player will react in what way in a particular situation. It seems like “a highly improved statistical model can actually predict the value of players in a more pinpointed fashion” – If thats actually possible, Statistics is also as important as a strategy discussion before every match..perhaps more than that.
However, Iam clueless on how a statistical model for cricket works. I don’t think there are any working models, at the moment (since the book does not mention any).
Anyone who happens to see this post…and who are aware of how statistical modelling can be applied to cricket, what kind of statistics need to be collected for that etc – can drop a comment here and explain 🙂 Somehow, the “HOW?” part is bugging me a lot for the past few days.