Friday, September 8, 2006

the art of coin tampering

So Omar discovered a website called Howstat which has the most detailed cricket stats I've ever seen. So I decided to do a completely inane analysis on the luckiest captains, by number of tosses won. Obviously I found nothing mindblowing, seeing as I was studying the frequency of a coin coming up heads or tails. But here are the results anyway.

ODIs (captains that have captained 20+ matches):
Each team has won between 46.7% (WI) and 53.6% (Ind) of it's tosses. Except Sri Lanka, which has won the toss only 30.7% of the time. This is mainly due to Arjuna Ranatunga's reign as captain, in which he captained the side a mammoth 193 times, while winning a meagre 10 tosses(5.2%). Surprisingly, he still managed to win 51% of his matches. Other unlucky captains are Carl Hooper of WI (34.7%) and Aamir Sohail of Pak (31.8%).

The luckiest captains have been Jimmy Adams of WI (69.2%), Ramiz Raja of Pak (68.2%). Interestingly enough, both have lost over 54% of their matches.

Tests (captains that have captained 10+ matches):
Again, no surprises. Each team has won between 46.7% (Pak) and 54.9% (SL) of their tosses. Ranatunga has fared better in tests, winning 51.8% of his tosses in 56 matches.

Luckiest captains are Arthur Hassett of Aus, Robert Wyatt of Eng, and Hubert Deane of SA, all of whom have won 75% of their tosses. All also lost less than 35% of their tests. Incidentally, all played before 1955, when cricket was cleaner and happier. And coins, apparently, were nicer. The only post-1975 captain to win over 70% of his tosses is Shivnarine Chanderpaul of WI (71.4%). Unfortunately, he has also lost 71.4% of his tests.

Unluckiest captains are Frederick Brown of Eng (20.0%), Glenn Turner of NZ (20.0%), and Bevan Congdon, also of NZ (23.5%). All have lost over 40% of their matches.

It is important to note that although many captains have very low toss-win ratios, Pakistan have never had a captain who won less than 32% (Akram) of his test tosses. Lanka and the Windies have fared even better, their unluckiest captains winning 45.5% and 41.7% of the time, respectively. Surely there is foul play at work. Perhaps it's time for the ICC forensics team...

Spreadsheets are available for anyone who has even less to do in life than I.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is an amazing article - Omar