#Rio2016 is a fairly good result for NZ

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Over the past few days I have begun to hear commentators and ‘pundits’ talking about how well we are doing (or ‘not’ as the case may be) at #Rio2016. Like those commentators I also had the feeling that we were performing pretty poorly this time round so I thought I’d do some research as to how terrible the New Zealand Olympic Class of 2016 is…and found out something quite interesting.

New Zealand, as New Zealand, has been competing at the Olympic Games since 1920, up to an including the 2012 London Olympics that is 21 appearances competing against the rest of the world. Over those 21 Olympics New Zealand has won Gold 41 times. By my account there are a total of 71 New Zealanders that have won a Gold Medal at any Olympics, including when we competed as Australasia. There have been four occasions when New Zealand has not received any Gold Medals (1920, 1924, 1932, 1948) at an Olympic Games and only twice where New Zealand has won over 3 Gold Medals (8 in 1984 and 6 in 2012).

If you add all these numbers together you understand that New Zealand averages just under two Gold Medals at every Olympics and if we get more than three it is an extraordinary event.

Which means if we look to #Rio2016 with this understanding we will see clearly that as we currently have two Gold Medals, and the chance of more to come, we are doing pretty well. Yes I agree that with 6 Gold Medals at the #London2012 we would have liked to see growth, but it is unrealistic when looking at the history of New Zealand competing at the Olympics that all of a sudden we would go from winning two or three Gold Medals to consistently winning 6+.

So well done to all the New Zealand Olympians and all you couch commentators remember if we can hit 3 Gold Medals that is a great result for New Zealand.

Oh an by the way, I still haven’t seen Mahe’s Gold Medal from #Rio2016 with the bullying control that SkyTV has over the footage…but that complaint is for another day.

 

Is cricket a batters game these days?

Captain McCullum of New Zealand walks off with his team after losing to England during the final cricket match of their one day international series at Eden ParkUmmm…No. I could just leave it there, but let me explain.

We are hearing cricket commentators, talk radio hosts, lounge-lizard commentators complaining that cricket has become a game for batsmen to the sake of the bowlers. This is rubbish.

Sometimes a batter dominates a game, see Gayle 215, Warner 178, Villers 162* etc…sometimes a bowler dominates, see Southee 7/33, Starc 6/26, Boult 5/27 etc…What about Vettori 3.21 runs per over, Tredwell at 3.57, Starc at 3.67. Seems some bowlers are happy to dominate the game, and not allow the batters to run the show.

Most importantly though the theme to much of this commentary is batting dominates the game now. Lets look at that.

To date at the Cricket World Cup 2015 the average winning score has been 266 runs. That includes results like match 26 when Australia won by close to 200 runs and Game 13 where India scored 130 more runs that South Africa. So all the largest totals are in that 266 average, regardless of what the losing score was.

At the 1992 Cricket World Cup the average winning score was 211 and at the ’92 World Cup there wasn’t the minnows as there are now, and we didn’t see the massive disparity in some scores. That means today the average is higher than ’92 due in part to several massive blow-outs thanks to the smaller nations.

Even taking that into consideration, the difference between the average winning score today, and 23 years ago is around 50 runs a match, or 1 run per over and I’m respectfully sorry Sir Curtly, an average increase of 1 run per over does not equate a balanced competition of two decades ago, turning to an unfair batting advantage in 2015.

Cricket World Cup Knockouts are lining up to be…

So I’ve geeked out and had a look at the likely line-ups for the Quarters and Semis for #CWC15.

In my predictions the only guess that I’m not so sure about is if England or Bangladesh will be there but either way they end up in the same place in the Quarters, to be knocked out by India.

So my predictions for the final pool positions, and the run through the knock-out stage looks like this.

CWC table

I have taken out my abacus and worked some MS-DOS based logarithms to get the right teams in the correct Quarters as some teams (if there) are guaranteed certain games, but if you see an error I am happy to be corrected.

I also think that QF1 is ripe for an upset and Sri Lanka could knock out South Africa and there’s a slim chance that Pakistan could upset Australia. When it comes to the Semis it’s actually anybody’s game and I won’t stand by them with such certainty.

I do think that if Australia is in the final, they will win…that’s my head talking, not my heart obviously.

Go the Blackcaps!