MILAN CRICKET CLUB
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Thoughts on the Lombardy league 2011
The competition was a total success last year – a brilliant work of genius from Mike de Morgan: well done to him for having engineered it.
Well done, too, to Milan for winning the 2010 competition! How will we fare as
defending champions in 2011? Is the motivation still there? I would argue that
in spite of the fact that even greater glories are up for grabs this year
I speak from experience when I say that winning a game is one thing, but winning a game when a cup is at stake is another – those of you who have braved the snows of Zuoz will know what I am talking about (and that’s another score we will have to settle in the future! )
The first edition of the Lombardy league is drawing to a close, so this would seem an appropriate moment to ask a question : why exactly are we having a league ?
Speaking as a player (sic) with some years of MCC experience, I believe that the league will breathe life into games which, in the past, have run the risk of becoming a bit stale – every March you look at the fixture list and you see “MCC vs Idle” for the umpteenth time – stifling a yawn you quickly review the opposition: you wonder how Joe Torti managed to take 5 wickets a few yearsa ago, you know what shoe size they each are, you suppose Mario will get out for nought yet again and you ask yourself whether will Shanta get 2 or 62 when he bats : we are that familiar with them.
But now the stakes are higher, as each result is now part of bigger challenge – the 5 teams involved play each other just once (given the appalling weather this spring it’s a miracle any of the matches were completed – as I write it is still teeming down some 3 days after Milan’s match against The Settimo Indians was reluctantly abandoned) – and you get two points for a win. But I really believe that the lure of the prize inspires you to try harder (tho’ you could be forgiven for doubting this if you look at my performance!) – if you take to the field with a win under your belt you have something to build on; if you have 2 wins you start to dare to dream, and with 3 ? Well – one more big concerted effort and it’s ours.
Time, of course, will tell whether this esprit de corps can be maintained – much depends on the captain’s motivating and marshalling skills
(something I have come to appreciate over the years) – but the concept of the league is an excellent basis on which to start – so a big vote of thanks to Mike de Morgan who set the thing up – no easy task, I imagine – thanks also to all the people in the other teams who have contributed.
On a lighter note I found out to today that due to the afore-mentioned rain-affected result The Duckworth–Lewis system had been used to calculate the winning margin – for those of you who are unfamiliar with how this works (and there might just be one or two of you out there ) it goes like this :
“The essence of the D/L method is 'resources'. Each team is taken to have two 'resources' to use to make as many runs as possible: the number of overs they have to receive; and the number of wickets they have in hand. At any point in any innings, a team's ability to score more runs depends on the combination of these two resources. Looking at historical scores, there is a very close correspondence between the availability of these resources and a team's final score, a correspondence which D/L exploits.
Using a published table which gives the percentage of these combined resources remaining for any number of overs (or, more accurately, balls) left and wickets lost, the target score can be adjusted up or down to reflect the loss of resources to one or both teams when a match is shortened one or more times. This percentage is then used to calculate a target (sometimes called a 'par score') that is usually a fractional number of runs. If the second team passes the target then the second team is taken to have won the match; if the match ends when the second team has exactly met (but not passed) the target (rounded down to the next integer) then the match is taken to be a tie.”
This from Wikipedia. Now be honest: do these two paragraphs not make you lose the will to live?
I pause only to note two things:
1) For all their prowess with statistics and for all their impressive qualifications there is no mention of either Mr Duckworth or Mr Lewis ever having had any actual cricketing experience.
2) I feel that the phrase “… then take away the number you first thought of” would improve things immeasurably……