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Why cricket is still waiting for its data revolution


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In 2008, data in baseball experienced its big bang. Ball-tracking cameras were installed in almost every stadium and, crucially, all the information that was recorded was made publicly available. It was a move that was described as "Baseball's Particle Accelerator", with researchers describing themselves as "positively giddy" at the news. There were no two ways about it, ball-tracking information being available to all was going to "change statistical analysis forever." "Everybody," explains baseball expert Mike Sonne, "whether it was the youngest guy with an Excel spreadsheet or a guy with Python could really get in and do some in-depth analysis." The result was that people in their thousands embarked on passion projects that uncovered new and previously unconsidered parts of the sport. Vive la revolution. By this metric, data in cricket is at a bottleneck, with ball-tracking information being a closely guarded resource, available only to a few companies who pay for the pleasure of seeing it.

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