Bio Preview: The Moon is Toast
Numbers. Radio. Cricket. Computer programming. Travel. These are a few of my favourite things. So now you know, Mary Poppins. I therefore consider myself extremely fortunate to be in an environment that allows me to combine all those into one job — cricket statistician. In order to do the job I maintain a comprehensive database, which I program myself, that allows me to look up cricket numbers whenever and wherever I and my laptop find ourselves. (There, I managed to cover all those five favourite things in one sentence).
‘Synergy’ is one of those words common in business speak. The Oxford English Dictionary defines synergy as ‘The interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects’. If I was to compile a dictionary, under Synergy I would just put ‘Cricket and radio’. I certainly don’t know of any better examples of synergy than cricket and radio. The rhythms and tempos of cricket make it ideal for the medium of radio with the time taken between play allowing plenty scope for discussion of what is happening in the match and, indeed, of things not happening in the match and quite possibly not at all relevant to the match. So, radio makes cricket better and cricket makes radio better.
In recent years I have had a few people ask me when am I going to write a book. Well, here it is. After some consideration I decided to do a diary in the hope that you, dear reader, will find something of interest in how a year in the life of a cricket statistician pans out. There is an entry for each day of the year of 2015, covering how my year went.
One of the prerequisites for a book on cricket statistics is to have an ‘As at’ date — the cutoff of date when the stats are calculated to. Sometimes this is given ‘Correct as at’, but I will not use that expression. After all there are inevitably one or two errors that creep into virtually every book. So, to be correct it is best not to write ‘Correct as at’. In this day and age of incessant cricket any book recording it is inevitably out of date by the time the author presses the send button on the email. The ‘as at’ date for this book is a bit different. All stats in this book are as at the date they are noted and not necessarily as at any other date. Many of the records will be broken over time. While I hope they are at least 99.9% correct, anything that isn’t is entirely my fault. Already my brief mention of the highest score ever recorded in cricket (628* by AEJ Collins in 1899) is out of date. Just five days into 2016, 15-year-old schoolboy Pranav Dhanawade made an unthinkable 1009* in a schools game in India.
Coming up with a title for a book is more challenging than you might think. The one I have decided on has, of course, no cricketing relevance at all, but refers to one of my favourite comments of the year. I am not going to let you know what it is. You will have to read the book to find out. As a clue I can let you know it is not on January 1. You are going to have to read a bit to find it. And I must, of course, apologise to all those readers who have inadvertently happened upon this book in either the astronomy or cooking sections.