cricket / short form / stats

Home and Regional Advantage

After reading the excellent post on Ducking Beamers about the polarisation of cricket into blocs, I thought I would attempt some sort of statistical analysis on how exactly home advantage manifests itself. We all know that plenty of factors contribute to teams performing less well away, such as unfamiliarity with conditions, the grind of touring, lack of crowd support and, in the past, dodgy home umpires. How is that actually reflected in the statistical record?

This first table looks at the contention that cricket is becoming more polarised, and home advantage is going to become more of a factor: It shows that for some teams, this is the case. Over the last few years they have performed much better at home than away, relative to their control group. However, reading too much into these figures would be foolish, as to a degree they just reflect who has been playing well, and who hasn’t.

Team Home W/L (since 1945) Away W/L (Since 1945) Home W/L (Since 1 Jan 2010) Away W/L (Since 1 Jan 2010)
Australia 2.79 (1st) 1.28 (1st) 2.20 (4th) 0.85 (3rd)
England 1.63 (6th) 0.80 (3rd=) 4.00 (2nd) 2.00 (2nd)
India 1.67 (5th) 0.38 (6th) 4.33 (1st) 0.50 (6th)
West Indies 1.54 (7th) 0.80 (3rd=) 0.83 (6th) 0.75 (4th)
South Africa 2.05 (3rd) 1.09 (2nd) 3.33 (3rd) 7.00 (1st)
Pakistan 2.54 (2nd) 0.65 (5th) n/a 0.60 (5th)
Sri Lanka 1.80 (4th) 0.36 (7th) 1.25 (5th) 0.16 (8th)
New Zealand 0.75 (8th) 0.30 (8th) 0.50 (7th=) 0.33 (7th)
Zimbabwe 0.29 (9th) 0.06 (9th=) 0.50(7th=*) 0
Bangladesh 0.03 (10th) 0.06 (9th=) 0 0

*Zimbabwe have played a negligible number of matches at home since 2010, so their W/L of 0.50 is somewhat misleading.

Far more interesting is the table of regional success. In the modern globalised world, home is never too far away. Match conditions are a much more important facet of home advantage, and they tend to be reasonably similar across continents. There are exceptions of course, Brisbane is nothing like Dunedin, but both are more similar to each other than they are to Galle. This table has been extended to include the last 10 years, otherwise for many teams it would be statistically meaningless.

Team W,D,L Asia W,D,L Africa W,D,L Americas W,D,L Europe W,D,L Oceania
Australia 8,5,9 6,0,2 7,2,1 3,4,5 47,10,9
Bangladesh 1,5,36 0,1,4 2,1,1 0,0,4 0,0,5
England 8,8,11 3,4,2 3,5,1 41,16,11 5,4,7
India 35,22,13 4,1,3 2,5,0 1,2,4 3,5,7
New Zealand 4,7,6 3,1,6 0,0,2 0,1,5 12,16,18
Pakistan 19,19,9 2,0,5 2,0,2 2,1,7 3,3,7
South Africa 7,7,7 29,7,14 4,3,0 6,3,3 5,6,4
Sri Lanka 28,24,15 3,0,2 1,1,2 1,3,2 1,2,8
West Indies 3,6,6 2,2,5 11,17,21 0,2,11 0,4,7
Zimbabwe 0,1,1 2,2,11 0,0,2 0,0,2 0,0,3

This table roughly conforms to this hypothesis. A good way of reading it is thus: If the numbers in a box get sequentially or generally larger, it is a fair bet the team is playing outside their own continent. If they are getting smaller, or getting bigger at a slower rate, the team is probably playing on their own continent. There are exceptions again of course, the West Indies, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and to a lesser degree New Zealand tend not to win anywhere except against each other. One of the most interesting statistics on the table though appears to confirm a more regional based theory of home advantage. South Africa, who have swept all before them over the last decade, have won, drawn and lost an equal number of games in Asia. This is in contrast to their record away in the previous table, where they generally won more than they lost away, and to an extreme degree over the last 3 years.

I am keen to add to this set of data, and look to expand it out to bowler type success, run rates and average team scores, among other things perhaps. I am, however, looking for feedback on what the best way to measure these would be. I am a very amateur statistician, so any help with methodology would be greatly appreciated. Leave a comment if you have any ideas.

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