T20 player index Frequently Asked Questions

Why are FICA and The Cricketer doing this?

Although the game has undoubtedly evolved, the traditional measures of player performances have not. As such, both parties recognised the need for an internationally recognised global system of assessing players’ performances which takes into account performances in all international and domestic T20 cricket.  The complex algorithm which underpins the Index incorporates many performance metrics and will assist in more accurately defining a player’s worth in this format. It will assist in driving the global T20 narrative throughout the year.

How does the T20 Player Index differ from existing cricket player performance measurements?

The Index incorporates all major domestic T20 cricket. Furthermore, the Index uses a unique algorithm which incorporates performance metrics never before used to determine where players stand against their peers. The Index is calculated using data from all attributes of the game, including fielding. Being exclusively a T20 Index, strike rate and economy rate are as heavily weighted as runs scored and wickets taken, with dot ball and boundary percentages also being taken into account. In order to generate an accurate evaluation of each individual the algorithm also includes adjusted scoring based on:

  • the context of the individual performance within the match
  • the context of the match itself
  • the strength of the opposing batter/bowler
  • the strength of the opposition team

How is the T20 Player Index calculated and what metrics are included?

Batting

  • Batting Strike-Rate – runs scored divided by balls faced, adjusted to ensure incremental gain for the highest strike rates
  • Batting Aggregate – based on batting average across all innings
  • % of Total Team Runs Scored – runs scored by the batter as a % of the total runs scored in all games in which he played; contributes to normalising the effect of the pitch or conditions.
  • Boundary Strike-Rate – the percentage of balls faced hit for 4 or 6
  • Activity rate – the percentage of balls faced where at least one run is scored

Bowling

  • Economy Rate – runs conceded divided by overs bowled. This is also split by the stage of the innings (Powerplay, Middle Overs and Death Overs) to allow for varied expected values.
  • Indexed Economy Rate – measures a player’s economy rate vs the average economy rate in matches played (again dependent on the stages of match in which the overs are bowled). A better economy rate than average scores positive points, a worse economy rate than average will score negative points. Contributes to normalising the effect of the conditions.
  • Bowling Aggregate – based on wickets taken vs balls bowled and runs conceded
  • Wickets as a % of possible maximum – wickets taken as a percentage of the total possible in all matches bowled (i.e. matches bowled x 10 wickets)
  • % sixes conceded – the percentage of balls bowled which are hit for six (negative metric)
  • Dot Ball % – the percentage of balls bowled where no run is scored

Fielding

  • Fielding Dismissals per Match – successful Catches, Run Outs and Stumpings all contribute to a player’s points
  • Byes conceded – Wicket Keepers only; measured vs the overall average

Metrics are calculated using adjusted averages, so a player’s total points can go up or down. All metrics are Indexed and weighted to ensure that each attribute of a player’s performance is considered with key metrics having heavier weightings.

Individual metrics are also adjusted depending on the context of the performance within the match and the strength of the opposition players.

Additional weightings and adjustments:

  • Measurement period – the Index is based on a rolling three-year period; this is made up of 100% of the score for the third year (most recent 12 months) plus a reduced percentage of the second-year points and a further reduction of the first year points. Points drop off after three years or at the start of the same tournament three years later, whichever is the earlier.
  • Matches won – points are awarded per match where a player has been part of a winning team. However, this is kept to a small adjustment so as not to over penalise those playing fewer games.
  • Tournaments won – points are awarded to players who are part of a tournament winning squad and are relative to the number of matches played. Again, this rewards success but the value is kept relatively low so as not to penalise those playing fewer tournaments.
  • Tournament batting/bowling ‘Top 10’ – to reward consistent performance. Where a player finishes as a top 10 runs scorer or wicket taker within an individual tournament, he will score additional points (excludes internationals other than World T20 tournament)
  • Tournament weighting – all tournaments are weighted based on the strength of players within that tournament (via pre-tournament standings) and the value attributed to each tournament by players (via a FICA survey).
  • Number of tournaments played – to guard against a player playing in only the highest weighted tournament and therefore potentially appearing falsely high up the Index, additional weighting is applied the more tournaments played (up to five tournaments per year). This does not mean that a player only playing in the IPL (for example) cannot top the overall Index but does allow for potential margins of error where only a small sample size of games is being used to calculate a player’s performance.
  • Minimum number of games played – a player cannot gain full points for any attribute until they have displayed that attribute in a minimum number of matches. This guards against one performance (e.g. a tail-ender scoring 40 off 15 balls) overstating a player’s overall score.
  • Strength of opposition team – individual match performances have a slight weighting variance depending on the strength of the opposition team (based on prior performance within a tournament).
  • Strength of individual opponent – a stronger weighting is then applied to performance within a match vs the individual opposing batter/bowler (based on the current standing of that individual). E.g. runs scored against a top bowler or wickets of a top batter are weighted more heavily (and vice versa).
  • Context of individual performance – additional adjustment is applied depending on the context of a player’s performance. E.g. a match-winning 50 in a tight low-scoring game will be worth more than a pressure-free 50 in a high total.
  • Context of match – performances in knockout and key games are weighted more heavily

Why are some international players lower down the standings than you might expect?

The Index takes into account performances by players taking part in both major T20 domestic tournaments and T20 internationals. Often the reason is that a player’s international commitments, including across other formats, may mean they have played very little T20 cricket during the qualifying period. Their other commitments may have also precluded them from playing in domestic T20 competitions both in their own countries and overseas.

Which tournaments are included in the T20 Player Index?

All major domestic T20 tournaments are included as well as all T20 internationals.

How often are the standings updated?

The algorithm updates the standings for all players after each completed match and the results will be updated on the website every Monday.

Are some tournaments weighted more heavily than others?

Yes, all tournaments have a weighting based on the overall strength of the players within that tournament, so e.g. at present the IPL is weighted more heavily than the Bangladesh Premier League.

Are Indian players at a disadvantage as they are unable to play in domestic tournaments overseas?

While it is true that Indian players are unable to participate in overseas leagues, those that play in the IPL and international cricket will be accruing points with the highest possible weighting (The IPL and International matches are joint highest weighted tournaments). Those Indian players who perform well in the IPL but don’t play for India will have a limitation on the points they can accrue but exceptional performances in the IPL could still see them top the Index.

Over what period is the T20 Player Index measured?

The Index is measured over a rolling three-year period, with the most recent 12 months most heavily weighted to give priority to recent form. Three years provides a sufficient sample of data to obtain an accurate picture of where players sit against their peers. Points accrued from tournaments which took place three years ago drop off when the corresponding tournament begins in the current year.

Are batting and bowling measured separately?

The algorithm considers all attributes of the T20 game. Batting, bowling and fielding (and wicketkeeping where applicable) are all included in the overall Index.

Does the T20 Player Index therefore favour all-rounders?

All-rounders have more opportunity to accrue points, however a player’s maximum points vary depending on how much of an all-rounder they are (the percentage of games in which they bat and bowl). This allows the opportunity for a batter or a bowler to top the standings with a very strong performance in one attribute.

Can wicketkeepers score additional points?

Points are awarded for fielding dismissals (catches, stumpings and run outs) and wicketkeepers can score additional points by conceding fewer byes than average.

Do the players who have played the most matches automatically top the standings?

No, the Index is calculated using adjusted averages, so points are not just accumulated. Poor performances can lead to a drop in the standings and a strong performance across a relatively small number of matches could see a player top the standings. However, additional positive adjustments are made for matches and tournaments won.

Does a player have to have played a minimum number of matches or tournaments to appear in the T20 Player Index?

Index points can be accrued after one match – however a minimum number of matches must be played in a year to accrue full points. Additionally, specific batting and bowling metrics do not award full points until a certain number of balls have been faced/bowled. This ensures a large-enough sample size for each player to give confidence that their performance is being measured accurately.

Does a bowler bowling in the Powerplay have a disadvantage?

No, bowling metrics are split by the stage of the match (Powerplay, middle overs and ‘death’ overs) with performance in each being weighted accordingly.

How do you measure the strength of the opposition batter/bowler?

Every run scored or ball bowled is weighted based on the current pre-match Index points of the opposition batter/bowler. Runs scored vs the number one bowler will be worth more points than runs scored vs the 200th placed bowler. Likewise, wickets taken or economical overs bowled vs a top batter are worth more.

Do weather or pitch conditions influence player standings?

The algorithm includes adjusted metrics to normalise conditions, so e.g. batsmen who play at home at a low-scoring ground will not suffer accordingly. If they are outperforming the expected values, their Index points will increase. All metrics in any match affected by Duckworth Lewis are also adjusted accordingly.

Notes

The Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA) was established in 1998 to co-ordinate the activities of all national players’ associations which protect the interests of professional cricketers throughout the world. It brings together the world’s cricketers, regardless of nationality, religion, political persuasion or race, under an international body focused on matters of general interest to the game and its players. More information on FICA can be found here: www.thefica.com / @fica_players

The Cricketer Publishing Ltd (TCPL) Publishes both The Cricketer Magazine and Cricket Archive. The Cricketer magazine is the world’s oldest and best-selling cricket magazine, established in 1921 it has been published continuously since then. Cricket Archive is the world’s largest and most comprehensive cricket database in the world, containing over 700,000 scorecards and over 1.2million player records. More information can be found here: www.thecricketer.com / www.cricketarchive.com

The T20 Player Index (the Index) is administered by the Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA) and the Cricketer Magazine / Cricket Archive. The Index is a performance measurement system of all cricketers who currently play Twenty20 cricket (at both domestic and international level) anywhere in the world designed to determine who is “the best” Twenty20 cricketer in the world. The Index is not affiliated, associated, authorized, endorsed by, or in any way officially connected with the International Cricket Council (ICC) or any national cricket board, or any of their subsidiaries or their affiliates.