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With how desperately we want to see the conclusion of ICC World Cup 2019, there are more than just a couple of loose ends yet to be determined. Unfortunately, they don’t appear to be in the greatest shape right now. Back in 1992 when they managed to claim the big title, they were a force to be reckoned with. But fast forward to 2019, we have a different cast and a different mindset. Do the new faces have the experience needed to attain their former glory?
Consistency appears to be their missing element
Here what’s going to be at the forefront of ICC World Cup 2019: Pakistan must chase consistency to challenge. Only by doing so can they hope to achieve what they set out to do. But given that unpredictability is one of their most promising tricks up their sleeve, the story simply isn’t over until the final match. To get a better glimpse into the team’s inner workings and predict this year’s outcome, let’s examine how they performed in one of the recent events.
Pakistan at the World Cup 2015
Looking at the their performance in 2015, it’s hard to pick the right words. Most, however, would agree it was a bit underwhelming. Although they managed to win the lesser matches they played against UAE and Zimbabwe, they lost the crucial matches against West Indies and India. This is what ultimately sunk them in the end.
Will 2019 be the year for them to shine?
Comparing their current roster against the one from 4 years ago, the differences are obvious – and it’s in the right way for sure. Not only that; when these exact players enter the battlefield and act as a like-minded group on the path to victory, almost none can withstand the power they can generate. For an example of this, just look at the 2017 ICC Champions victory in England, and you’ll quickly see where things are going.
The team’s beginnings
When the team first entered the green battlefield as a whole, one team member was virtually a stranger to another. But once they got to know each other’s play-style more and more, what followed was nothing less than a cricket symphony.
The most crucial players
Mohammad Amir, without a doubt, will be a force to be reckoned with once more. Then, we have Wahab Riaz, a sensational performer in the last World Cup, and the hero who managed to pick up 16 wickets in as little as 7 matches. Next, don’t forget Imam-ul-Haq, the man with a powerful average of 57.79. Looking at his record of 568 runs from 12 matches, he is the highest scoring member of the team. Last but not least, there is Mr. Shaheen Afridi, the unknown contender who is full of surprises. In less than a year’s worth of time, he managed to pick up 24 wickets in as little as 14 matches.
In terms of sheer power, Pakistan is not to be underestimated. The real question is, can they keep it consistent enough to bring their A-game all the way to the top?Read more...
Strategy and execution is everything in cricket and poker
Becoming a successful cricketer is just as much about having the mental attributes as it is about having the technical attributes. Although cricket is often derided as a slow sport, if you aren’t a step ahead in your head than your opponents, you will often get found out at the crease. That’s why some people say that the most consistent cricketers are those who think and act like poker players. Let’s take a look at some of the key attributes of poker players that cricketers can adopt to take their game to the next level.
They admit that they can’t hit every ball for six
The best Test Match players and those planning to head to the 2019 Cricket World Cup are those who don’t lose focus or self-discipline for a second. Most average cricketers will get into bad habits and lose their discipline, but the best batsmen can stay switched-on. They accept that they can’t hit every ball for six or take a wicket with every ball they bowl. Instead, they remain sharp and focus firmly on the target in mind. Self-discipline is the bedrock of any profitable poker player; they must have the ability to play without going on “tilt” and undoing all their good work. It’s the same for world-class cricketers who go beyond half-centuries and turn those knocks into hundreds, and even double-hundreds.
They know their opponents’ moves inside and out
In both disciplines, cricketers and poker players need to study the game and know their opponents inside and out to be able to react to their moves. The best cricketers have an awareness of their opponents’ strengths and weaknesses, which enables them to hone in on the weaknesses and guard against the strengths. For instance, the best batsmen know what deliveries a dangerous spin bowler has in his arsenal, which enables them to plan for all eventualities. Profitable poker players are trained to spot their opponents’ “tells”, which gives them an insight into whether their hand is strong or weak. It’s these fine margins that make all the difference at the pinnacle of any profession.
Because they need to be durable
According to this infographic comparing cricket and poker stars, the very best pros need to be prepared to clock up the miles to reach the summit of their profession. Cricketers can tour as much as 24,494 miles in a year, while poker pros can also travel 18,100 miles to feature in the biggest live poker tournaments. Durability is certainly a vital trait to have for any successful cricketer or poker player. In poker, the most prestigious live poker tournaments can go on for days, even weeks, such as the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event. The best cricketers selected to represent their countries will embark on two-month-long tours around the world and be required to cope with everything from homesickness and jet lag to different cultures and weather in order to prevail.
The best batsmen make winning decisions based on positive expected value
In poker, all decisions a player makes carries an expected value (EV). Over time, the best players are able to calculate the strength of EV and make the most positive EV decisions, even under significant stress. If they make more +EV decisions than -EV decisions, they will be profitable over the long term. The best batsmen in cricket also know how to judge each delivery on its own merits. Their ability to know within a split-second whether or not to leave the ball or attempt to attack it is awe-inspiring. The batsmen that play aggressively with +EV on their side— i.e., focus on rank long-hops and half-volleys—will make consistent runs, more likely than not.
They are capable of escaping the bias of past events
Professional poker player Maria Konnikova believes that when humans are in rapidly-changing environments, they are affected by “bias after bias after bias”. The human brain is often reliant on past experiences when making future choices. Konnikova believes that poker retrains the brain to remove bias by forcing players to rely on experiences set in the data of their previous hands. Those that can escape the bias of past experiences will think more clearly and positively. It’s the same for cricketers; those who are able to set aside previous losses or on-field errors—and keep faith in the methods and techniques that have served them well—will often prevail.
It’s little wonder why the likes of Australian spin king, Shane Warne, took to poker like a duck to water when he hung up his cricket boots for the last time. The mental attributes in both poker and cricket should never be underestimated.
The countdown is on for one of biggest events in the sporting calendar – the 2019 International Cricket Championship Cricket World Cup (CWC). Attracting over 400 million viewers every four years, the next tournament is certainly set to be one for the history books. So, what can cricket fans expect? And what is involved in the 2019 event?
What is the Cricket World Cup?
The CWC takes place every 4 years and features 10 teams. It is the the conclusion of a global qualification process, with the best of the best competing for the title. The sporting event is made up of one-day international cricket and is a 50-over tournament.
Running since 1975, 2019 will be the 12th tournament to date. Unlike some sports, there’s no clear favourite year upon year, with the West Indies and Australia the only competitors to have won consecutive titles. Australia are the champions going into the 2019 tournament, winning in 2015 by 7 wickets. Could 2019 be the year England run away with the title?
2019 Cricket World Cup format
This year, England and Wales will be hosting the prestigious event, which will begin on Thursday 30th May, with matches taking place until the final on Sunday 14th July. The 10 teams who qualified for the competition this year are; England, Australia, Bangladesh, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies and Afghanistan.
Fans across the world are excited to see what each country can bring to the table. But what exactly is the format of the competition?
In the CWC, all 10 teams play one another in a round-robin, with the top 4 qualifying for the semi-finals. In the first group stage the teams receive 2 points for a win, while ties or no-results get 1 point.
All the listings have been released in the lead up to the event, with matches set to take place in the morning at 10.30am (BST) and the afternoon at 13.30pm (BST). The first match will be England v South Africa, on 30th May.
Where will the matches take place?
As the event is being held in England, grounds up and down the country are getting ready for the influx of cricket fans from across the globe, hoping that the classic British rain pours won’t ruin the day (fingers crossed). The tournament will take place at 11 top-notch venues:
- Chester-le-Street (Durham)
- Headingley (Leeds)
- Old Trafford (Manchester)
- Trent Bridge (Nottingham)
- Edgbaston (Birmingham)
- Bristol County Ground (Cardiff)
- Sophia Gardens (Cardiff)
- Lord’s (London)
- The Oval (London)
- Rose Bowl (Southampton)
- County Ground (Taunton)
The semi-finals will be hosted in Old Trafford and Edgbaston, with the final taking place at Lord’s in the capital city.
As well as watching in person, fans from across the world will be tuning in to cheer on their teams. India vs Pakistan in 2015 attracted a whopping 1 billion viewers on TV, making it one of the biggest matches in Cricket World Cup history.
Will you be watching the CWC?
Whether you’re heading down to the grounds or watching from the comfort of your home, 2019 is set to be an exciting year for the CWC. Joint hosts England are the current favourites with the bookies (https://www.mrgreen.com/en/betting), closely followed by India and Australia, but as we know – nothing can be predicted at the Cricket World Cup.Read more...
We’re pleased to announce that version 2.1.1 of Play-Cricket Scorer Pro has now been released! As with previous updates, please launch PCS Pro from the Start Menu (not the task bar) to detect the update, then close and re-launch PCS Pro again to install it. If the software does not automatically update, or you’re installing it for the first time, please download it here.
Important Note: Because Play-Cricket Scorer Pro is a server-connected system, and this has been significantly changed for the coming season, all users MUST upgrade to v2.1.1 and will not be able to login or live score until they have done so.
The full detailed release notes are included below. However, we also wanted to quickly highlight our view of the “top 10” areas of improvement, including some significant new capabilities being offered to all users and clubs at no cost in both the professional and recreational games. We’re excited to see these features put into use and want to thank each and every one of you for your feedback, suggestions and issue reports. These continue to directly shape the future of the software, so please keep them coming!
Over the next few weeks, where not already added, additional help guides will be made available online to cover significant new areas of functionality.
- Scoring: Among multiple enhancements to the scoring engine is our most requested feature: Wickets and Retirements can now be added and edited (including a change of player) on previous deliveries, with intelligent auto-correct and reassignment to fix subsequent balls and to address common scenarios such as missing that the batsmen crossed.
- New Reports and Stats: New printable “Sessions” and “Bowling Spell” reports and in-screen panels, as well as a Linear Sheet based on ECB ACO training material (in the final stages of development - coming soon!)
- Play-Cricket Integration: Play-Cricket Scorer Pro continues to be the most tightly integrated option for laptop scoring against Play-Cricket data, including downloading matches with Play-Cricket’s new “Scoring Rules” feature automatically mapped to PCS Pro Match Types, and significant new capabilities to prevent and correct duplicate data and stats even when things change in Play-Cricket.
- Scoreboard, Replay Screen and TV Output: Amongst much-requested changes to the in-software scoreboard including multiple layout and configuration options (such as Left/Right vs Top/Bottom), is a full suite of professional replay screen/scoreboard tools including activations, custom image and video display, multiple “slides” (e.g. batting card, bowling card) and automated slide transition modes (e.g. showing a wicket’s details as soon as it is scored without further input). Users can now output to multiple connected screens (or TVs) via a cable or cables connected to the laptop (usually HDMI or VGA), or over WiFi via Google Cast (e.g. to a separately located club-house TV fitted with a Google Chromecast device).
- Win And Score Predictor (WASP): As seen on Sky TV (UK and NZ) – the WASP engine for predicting the score in the first innings, or winner of the match in the second is now embedded throughout PCS Pro, including a new “Player Impact” report and panel that calculates the relative contribution of each player to the game based on their ball by ball performance compared with similar situations in historical matches.
- Collaborative Scoring: A unique innovation only available in PCS Pro, collaborative scoring allows the tasks of each scorer to be split with data shared between them in real-time. In this initial use of the technology, home and away scorers (or “Live” and “Support” scorers) can opt for an automated end-of-over cross check of each other’s scores and ball by ball entry, mimicking a manual check but across the internet, even if the scorers are separately located. A “Support” scorer can also compare their entire score and ball by ball data against the Live Scorer’s at any time.
- Performance Analysis: The “Feedback Cricket” product used by high performance at the ECB for over 7 years has now been merged into PCS Pro, and the full range of analysis events and stats can now be captured at any level of the game, including new panels for Feet Movement, Delivery Type, Shot Connection, and Events, and multiple new additions to Shot Type. Users can add and report on their own events of interest with “User Events”.
- Video Capture/Scoring: with the appropriate hardware added (including IP Cameras), PCS Pro can now capture and live upload video of every ball, with live video highlights complementing the online scorecard (e.g. 4s/6s/wickets) and optional score overlay graphics. Video capture includes both manual and auto modes (video saved when ball scored) for minimal impact on the scorer, and a Video Highlights Manager allows highlights packages (with transitions and score overlays) to be easily generated. Note: support of this facility at recreational level is limited to a trial basis this season.
- Live Streaming: PCS Pro can directly live stream captured video to YouTube, LiveStream.com, Facebook and other streaming services, without any further mandatory input from the scorer once configured. The Live Stream includes optional professional-grade score overlay graphics and slides with auto modes, manual and automatic video replays with transitions and activations (such as showing an image or video after a Wicket), and optional watermarks.
- “Reader” Mode: Copies of PCS Pro on separate laptops can now open a Match being live scored elsewhere over the internet in “Read Only” mode, with live ball by ball updates as if it the match was being scored on that laptop as well. Like Collaborative Scoring, this innovation is unique to PCS Pro and opens up multiple options such as: Players or Coaches viewing scores/video/stats in real-time from outside the score box; driving a scoreboard (whether LED, Replay Screen or TV) from a laptop physically closer to the scoreboard but far from the scorer; Media users live streaming from a separate laptop but using the scorer’s accurate data for overlay graphics, or a Social Media user sending Tweets about a game separately from the scorer’s data whilst not bothering the scorer.
- Match Centre: The NV Play Widget platform (available only to the professional game last season) has been significantly enhanced with a “Match Centre” for live scores, video highlights and live streams (if in use), ball by ball data, stats and graphs. This Match Centre will be automatically enabled inside Play-Cricket live scorecards for all PCS Pro-scored matches, providing the full range of live functionality to the recreational game.