Moneyball in Cricket
Posted by Ravi Banda on June 12, 2008
Wait..you should be thinking, isn’t the Moneyball about the MLB’s Oakland team 8-/ .. yes, you are absolutely right. This is just a twist on the Moneyball theory applied to a completely different setting and a different game .
Let me take you straight to the stats. Eight teams competed in the IPL tournament and the owners of the team bidded for players from a pool and at the end – following are the teams and how much they have spent. The team which paid the highest was Kolkata – $6,022,500 and the team which paid the least was Rajasthan (Jaipur) – $2,925,000
Can you guess who the winner was?
If you had guessed Jaipur (Rajasthan Royals), you are absolutely on spot. The Jaipur team had won (11 of the 14 matches including the Finals) and have been crowned champions. There might be arguments about how some teams had to deal with injuries, players pulling out etc. but lets focus on the main question.. how did a team which had put the least money went the farthest?
Following is the quote from their captain:
“The 38-year-old coach and captain revealed the secret behind Rajasthan Royal’s brilliant run in the tournament. Having just four days with the squad before the start of the IPL, Warne said he along with performance coach Jeremy Snape and director of coaching Darren Berry worked day and night to get an idea of what his players were capable of. When we reached here we wanted a background of all the players through the local coaches, which unfortunately we didn’t get. We played two practice games straightaway and watched every player in detail as to how they approached the game, their shot making, running between the wickets, fitness and other aspects,”
In Jaipur’s case, the coach and captain had to deal with Talent on hand and identify the strengths and weaknesses and devise ways to put together a stronger team. The decision making for the captain was also easy as he knew well about their team members.
Isn’t this the situation we constantly face? We always don’t have the option of getting new talent, but we have to work with existing talent and identify and develop the necessary skillset to meet our objectives.