IS THE DECLINE IN THE FREQUENCY OF DRAWS IN TEST MATCH CRICKET DETRIMENTAL TO THE LONG FORM OF THE GAME?

Authors

  • LIAM J. A. LENTEN

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      Department of Economics and Finance, La Trobe University; Earlier versions of this paper were presented at: (i) the Seminar Series, University of Otago, Department of Economics, New Zealand, 4 April 2008; and (ii) the Staff Developmental Workshop, Department of Economics and Finance, La Trobe University, 10 April 2008. The author would like to thank the various participants of the seminar and workshop for their comments and suggestions, especially Niven Winchester, Dorian Owen, David Walker and Joe Hirschberg. The author would also like to thank Wayne Geerling and Glyn Wittwer for their comments on and earlier draft. This paper is a developed version of a short opinion piece by the same author that appears in the non-refereed biannual magazine, EcoNZ@Otago, University of Otago, New Zealand, no. 21, July 2008, pp. 8–10.


Abstract

The frequency of draws in test cricket has declined noticeably in the last fifteen years. This has been brought about by changes in the style of the 5-day game, coupled with several rule changes designed to extend time played. While many believe this to be good for the game, a contrary argument advanced here suggests that too many Tests are finishing excessively early, and hence are more predictable. Regression results indicate that rising run rates and rising average wickets per Test have some explanatory power over the frequency of draws, but the rule changes have also played a big part. This is one issue (of several) that administrators must address to ensure that the oldest and purest form of the game is able to continue to compete for consumer interest with shorter forms of the game in the future.

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