Sep 20, 2010

Cricket - opinions and facts

@zxaar's comments in a Cricinfo article prompted this post. He commented that - "He (Miandad) was not great outside of pakistan where he was helped by home umpires. Not a true great. Miadad's case states lie due to favour from umpires."

I'm an Indian cricket fan and grew up seeing Miandad snatch victory from India in a number of cricket matches. I never doubted his greatness, so I decided to analyze cricket data to accept or reject @zxaar's assertion. My analysis proves and bolsters Javed Miandad's greatness.

So I replied to @zxaar in the Cricinfo article -

@zxaar - I don't agree with your comment re: Miandad. You said - "He (Miandad) was not great outside of pakistan where he was helped by home umpires. Not a true great. Miadad's case states lie due to favour from umpires."
I analyzed Miandad's ODI performance and his record against all opponents, in all countries in the world indicate his greatness. My analysis is posted on

FYI, I'm an Indian cricket fan and vividly remember his last ball six against India, as well as his "Kiran More imitation". I wanted him out every time he played against us but, he was a champion, although from another team.

In fact, Miandad scored more # runs/match in One Day Cricket when he played outside Pakistan (see Table 1).

There is close correlation between "% Matches" and "% Runs" in Table 1 and Table 2, which indicates that he played equally well where-ever he played and who-ever he played against. In other words, he did not really favor a ground or a team. He was brutal against all teams, in every country he played.

Table 1: Javed Miandad's One Day Cricket record in various countries

Ground # Runs # Matches Runs per Match % Matches % Runs
Australia 1895 57 33.2 25% 26%
England 702 21 33.4 9% 10%
India 468 15 31.2 7% 6%
New Zealand 356 9 39.6 4% 5%
Pakistan 1974 65 30.4 29% 27%
South Africa 225 6 37.5 3% 3%
Sri Lanka 199 6 33.2 3% 3%
United Arab Emirates 1052 34 30.9 15% 14%
West Indies 338 9 37.6 4% 5%

Table 2: Javed Miandad's One Day Cricket record against various countries

Opponent # Runs # Matches Runs per Match % Matches % Runs
Australia 1004 32 31.4 14% 14%
England 988 26 38.0 12% 13%
India 1173 33 35.5 15% 16%
New Zealand 693 23 30.1 10% 9%
South Africa 145 3 48.3 1% 2%
Sri Lanka 1111 34 32.7 15% 15%
West Indies 1928 63 30.6 28% 26%
Zimbabwe 263 6 43.8 3% 4%

Note: I've removed records for countries where or against whom he did not bat or played only 1 match.


  1. Nice look at the ODI performance of Javed Miandad. I think that it is the difference in his Test record home and away that leads to the some of the negative comments about his "greatness". He averaged 61.38 with the bat at home and 45.80 away from home which some people hold up as a reason for not calling him a "great" cricketer.

  2. Interesting, but wouldn't you try some difference in means or variances (better) test?
    Note the biased umpires effect will be very difficult to disentangle. You'll also have to disentangle whether the home umpires are generally biased (Miandad is still a local great) or if they carried some flame for Miandad specifically (Miandad is not evena local a great).

    Again I think the story lies in the variances of relative scores.... interesting but tricky.

  3. I've posted a graphical summary of Miandad and Gavaskar's test cricket performance ->

  4. I am not entirely clear about umpire biases. How can umpire biases help a cricketer to score runs. The umpires can't convert miandad's 1s or 2s to 4s or 6s, neither they can tell him to play a pull shot or take a cheeky single to rotate the strike. The only place where umpire biases can come into play is in either "LBW" decisions or "run-outs" but in this case we need to remember that Miandad belonged to an era when there was no use of "Hawk-eye" or "super slow motion" cameras so this bias could be with other great cricketers as well !

  5. I'm not a great judge of creicket or any other game. I have always worshipped Kapil adev and Sunil Gavasker as the greatest cricketers of all time regardless of stats. It was their style and uncanny ability to do something outstanding every at bat that made them legends.. As for Miandad dont feed me junk about favoritism and special treatment by Pakistani empires, just ask some of the greatest empires of all time who all are Indians and they will willingly concurr Miandad was one of the most unforgettable batsmen of modern cricket
    Robert In The USA

  6. Hi Prasoon Sharma,

    How are you doing? I came across your posts in R Bloggers and then followed it all the way to this page. I searched a lot to get your contact information but was unsuccessful.

    I want to talk to you regarding Indian Cricket Stats. So please email me on

    I would appreciate if you could email me.