What is the meaning of work when there is no play, right? But what is the scenario for people whose work is play? The answer is one that you would least expect – Math! With the Gujarat titans bringing the IPL trophy to their and our hometown, let’s talk about all the math involved in cricket. Yes, you read that right – your school dilemma of whether you can ever use mathematics is now getting sorted!
Math is actually the most decisive part of cricket. After all, it isn’t called the gentlemen’s game for nothing. Do you know how you have all these numbers covering the sides of your screen? And how do different categories measure and rank the players? Let’s look at how these numbers affect the game and why they are influential.
Generally, two scorers, one by each team, are appointed to keep a score. These scorers are mandatory by cricket law. They keep a score of all the numbers and averages during a match, from average to overs. Fun fact, during earlier times, the scorers used to keep the score by simply carving notches on a stick. The nickname “notches” for “runs” comes from this! Scorers also keep a tally for broadcast commentators and journalists, allowing undisturbed circulation of accurate scores in the media.
To find the run rate of a bowler i.e., the total number of runs conceded by a bowler per over of his career, we divide the number of runs by the number of overs. We also use math to calculate the average strike rate of bowlers and batsmen. The batsmen also have a strike rate, which we see in the player description when he/she enters the ground from the pavilion. The player’s performance and his/her value as an asset to the team are represented by this number. The strike rate is determined by the number of runs the batsman has made per 100 balls of his career. His/Her average is the number of runs they have made per wicket so far, i.e., the number of runs/number of times a batsman has been bowled. The strike rate of a bowler is the number of balls it takes for the bowler to take a wicket, i.e., the number of balls/number of wickets. The average of a bowler is the number of runs given away by him/her per wicket they take, i.e., number of runs/number of wickets.
Even the field on which they play has to be according to the measurements given by the cricketing board – International Cricket Council (ICC). A cricket ground should be a minimum of 137.16 meters in diameter at the square of the pitch. The longest boundary should be 65 yards, and the longest boundary should be 90 yards. These regulations are what give the cricket field an elliptical shape!
Even the bat and ball have a specific size and weight requirement according to set standards.
So, the next time you see a match, maybe try and focus on all the numbers you see on the screen and imagine a scorer doing tons of counting and maths for hours on end while the players are busy playing! Would you like to be a scorer, if given the opportunity?