The Cricket World Cup 2007 is round the corner. For all the millions of cricket lovers, it is time to watch their favourites perform and debate who has done better. To have a dispassionate assesment of performance and to arrive at the “Man of Worldcup 2007” in a scientific and transparent manner, there is a need for an exclusive world cup based rating system.

The undersigned had made a mark in this field during the 1999 world cup when his innovatively designed rating system brought a refreshing change to the then prevalent systems. Many of the principles that made Naavi Rating stand apart from ratings such as Ceat Rating which were otherwise widely known have now been incorporated in the ICC and other rating systems at present.

Now Naavi feels that further refinements are required. Hence the well appreciated Naavi Cricket Rating is set to make a comeback during the present world cup. The ratings would be monitored and presented to the public through

Naavi’s Cricketing intelligence has already been demonstrated in the suggestion he made about introducing an option to the fielding captain to introduce “Limited Field Overs” anytime during the innings which is now adopted several years later as the “Power Play Concept”. The same forethought and vision lies in the designing of the rating system also.

The Naavi rating system had a fantastic success as the results were revealed over the Internet match by match and lead to the ultimate winner of the “Man of the World Cup 1999” title by Lance Klusner. It was no surprise that the expert Committee led by Sunil Gavaskar who were given the task of manually assessing the Man of the Tournament also arrived at the same conclusion. Some of the reports of interim analysis of the Best Player at the league stage, best Indian player etc were also reported in the Press from time to time.

The important innovation being brought in this time is to recognize that a player’s mental outlook on the game while setting a target and chasing or defending a target are different and it has an impact on the performance. Hence the evaluation of performance has to take the factor of whether the player is setting the target or defending a target into consideration. The batsmen sets the target if the his side is batting first and chasing the target if his side is batting second. A bowler is setting a target if his side is bowling first and is defending the target if his team is bowling second. Hence the evaluation while setting the target would be based on ones’s own team and the evaluation during a chase or defense would be based on the opposing team’s performance.

Another innovation is to increase the points earned by a bowler from 20 to 25 and 30 per wicket for the second and subsequent wickets. This is required to equate the bowler’s performance with that of a batsman since a bowler cannot bowl for more than 10 overs as compared to a batsman who can play for the entire 50 overs where statistically he can play for around 150 plus balls or nearly 25 overs.

 The other change we find is in the weightages accorded to different team for its batting and bowling strengths. This is one area where still some subjectivity is present since it has to take into account the expected pitch conditions in West Indies along with the team’s overall strengths, injury problems etc. Hence even though on ICC ranking wise, Pakistan may deserve a better weightage for Bowling, the psychological impact of the recent controversies and the reduced morale of the players require the wieghtages to be placed at a lower level.

The rating would be calculated match by match and results would be put on the website. The calculations would be based on the official score card published.

The end objective of the system is to track the emergence of “Man of World Cup 2007”.

It is suggested that marketers can use this as a peg to run their own campaigns for promoting their products.

Additionally performances at pre-knock out stage will be separately monitored since there after a few teams will be eliminated and their players would not be eligible for further points. It may be recalled that during 1999, Neil Jhonson of Zimbabwe was the leading player at the pre knockout stage and had his team played the same number of matches as South Africa, he would perhaps have beaten Klusner to the top place. Similarly, Robin Singh made a mark for India by his performance which placed him only below the leaders Ganguly and Dravid and ahead of players like Tendulkar, Pollock, Mcgrath and Ponting. The periodical reports provided interesting points for discussion about captains, wicket keepers etc.

I hope the ratings would continue to provide interesting discussion points during this world cup also. At this point of time, no exclusive rights for the use of the rating has been given to any company and therefore one or more brands may run their campaigns based on the ratings. Enjoy and keep sending your feedback.


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