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UC research being used in Sky sports cricket coverage

UC research being used in Sky sports cricket coverage

November 23, 2012

It has long been the bane of cricket fans to be asked in the middle of a game who is winning.

Now thanks to University of Canterbury (UC) research, Sky sport are able to provide an answer to the `who’s winning’ question.

In the one day internationals (ODIs) and Twenty20 games shown on Sky sport this summer, statistical information will include answers from the WASP—the `winning and score predictor’.

In the first innings, the WASP gives a predicted score. In the second innings, it gives a probability of the batting team winning the match. This is based on models developed by UC PhD graduate Dr Scott Brooker and his supervisor Dr Seamus Hogan.

``It is really pleasing to be able to turn on the TV and see one’s research being put to use,” Dr Hogan said today.

``The WASP is not a forecast that could be used to set TAB betting odds. Rather they are estimates about how well the average batting team would go against the average bowling team in the conditions under which the game is being played given the current state of the game.

``It is a measure of how well the teams have done to that point, rather than forecasts of how well they will do from that point on.

``The models are based on a database of all non-shortened ODI and Twenty20 games played between the top eight countries since late 2006. The first-innings model estimates the additional runs likely to be scored as a function of the number of balls and wickets remaining. The second innings model estimates the probability of winning as a function of balls and wickets remaining, runs scored to date and the target score.’’

Dr Hogan said the estimates were constructed from a dynamic programme rather than just fitting curves through the data. Using a novel technique Dr Hogan and Dr Brooker developed, they have been able to estimate ground conditions from historical games and so control for that confounding effect in their estimated models.

In the games on Sky, a judgement is made on what the average first innings score would be for the average batting team playing the average bowling team in those conditions, and the models’ predictions are normalised around that information.

``At this stage, I believe this judgement is just a recent historical average for that ground, but the method of determining par may evolve.

``More graphics around the use of WASP throughout the season are expected on Sky, with the system fully up and running by the time of the international matches against England later this summer.’’


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