T20 cricket, like baseball, is a game which lasts about three hours. When close and competitive, it’s a pleasure to watch. When one-sided, you understand why both sports feel the need to have fireworks, dancers, music etc at the ready, to keep the thoroughly lubricated crowd at bay – and some nice graphics for the home viewers.
And whilst we’re enjoying the colour and movement of it all, we can take in a few key stats about the players. For batsmen, there’s strike rate (run scored per 100 balls) and for bowlers economy rate (runs conceded per 6 balls). Anything over 115 or so is good for batsman, anything under 7.2 or so is good for bowlers (“or so” is inserted because a few more years on T20 cricket are probably needed to put batting and bowling performances in context).
Both economy rate and strike rate are calculated by taking the number of runs and dividing it by the number of balls. Then – for a reason that escapes me – economy is calculated by multiplying by 6, strike rate multiplying by 100. Aren’t these figures two sides of the same coin? Batsman try to maximise runs scored off an over, bowlers try to minimise runs scored off an over?
In the interests of making easy comparisons between batting and bowling performances – for those of us who can’t quickly multiply or divide by 16⅔ – perhaps a majority position can be reached on whether the factor should be 100, 6, or something else?