Thursday 28 August 2014

Cricket and economics

Today I'm posting a fascinating video lecture on how economics can help cricket teams win matches. Don't let the subject scare you - it really is worth the time to watch!

Among the absorbing insights in the video are why:

* Stephen Fleming was a smarter power play batsman than Sachin Tendulkar
* If you have two bats left you are better off with 10 and 11 than a top order bat and 11
* A team not batting out its overs in limited cricket is not "the biggest sin"
* Teams play sub-optimally, both without realising it and deliberately
* Commentators and the press contribute to sub-optimal play

These are not my words and thoughts, but those of Dr Seamus Hogan, a co-creator of the cricket WASP, self-proclaimed "cricket tragic" and the man giving the lecture.

If that hasn't pulled you in a couple of screen shots from the lecture too before I post the video at the bottom of this article.

Saturday 16 August 2014

Crazy cricket tie market

My recent article on the Betfair cricket tie rule reminded me of one of the most bizarre markets in Betfair history - when a cricket tie market was 1.01 Yes and No at the same time!

I know it's hard to believe but it was such a curious case that I took a screenshot. Just click the picture for a larger image.

There's no need to rub your eyes. That tie market really is 1.01 on both sides as the market is suspended at the end of the match.

What's even more bonkers is there's more money trying to back No tie (£997)  than Yes tie (£307) - when the market was correctly settled as Yes tie.

For those wondering the match was a Twenty 20 international between India and Pakistan during the 2007 inaugural T20 World Cup in South Africa. The scorecard is here.

I'm sure some of you are thinking WTF? How on earth did this happen? So let's take a quick wander down memory lane...

Saturday 2 August 2014

Betfair cricket tie rule

This issue of Betfair and the cricket tie rule never ceases to amaze me. The rule is there for a great reason. Yet when a match is tied there's usually no end of moaning from people who clearly don't understand the markets they're betting in - and want to advertise the fact!

Put simply when a one day cricket match* ends in a tie Betfair cancels all the bets struck in the Match Odds market and returns the stakes.

In the distant past Betfair used to instead settle these Match Odds bets in tied matches as a Dead Heat. This changed many years ago for very good reasons and a specific Yes / No tie market has been offered ever since.

Despite this you'd back 1.01 that each time there's a tie there will be much gnashing of teeth from people moaning about how unfair everything is and what a joke Betfair is. Of course, it isn't unfair. And the only jokers are those threatening to go running to IBAS.

So why did Betfair scrap the Dead Heat rule for ties in cricket and introduce a specific tie market instead? And why was the decision for the best?