Predicting the most exciting games of Big Bash 07
Plus, which were the most entertaining teams from last season?
It wouldn’t be summer in Australia without the Big Bash League. I attended my first game on 27 December 2011, supporting the Sixers at the Sydney Cricket Ground. It was only the second Big Bash game held at the stadium and the organisers were completely unprepared for the 27,520 fans that descended on the SCG during the Christmas break.
The queues for the few bars that were open were so long that my group abandoned any hope of getting a beer, but the atmosphere and the cricket was more than enough to keep us entertained. I’d only arrived in Australia from Ireland the previous year and this was my introduction to live cricket. I’m still a fan today.
Now in its seventh year, the Big Bash has grown from strength to strength. The average crowd per game has climbed from 18,000 to over 30,000, with the most recent game at the SCG attracting a huge crowd of nearly 40,000. Once TV coverage moved from Foxtel to Channel 10 in 2013, ratings soared. Over 1 million people watched every match of the 2015-16 season, with the final peaking at 2.24 million viewers (a humiliating nine-wicket loss for the Sixers).
finder.com.au is a Network Ten broadcast sponsor for BBL|07 and WBBL|07, so we thought we’d take a deep dive into the data from last year’s 35 BBL matches to see if we could predict the most entertaining games to take place this summer. We broke every game down into a set of metrics: the number of runs, wickets, fours, sixes, 50s, 100s, runouts, outfield catches and close games (decided in the final over). Points were also awarded for atmosphere based on stadiums being at least 70% full.
We then added up these scores across all games to get a total entertainment score for every match, team and stadium. We call this the Big Bash Entertainment Index (BBEI) and fans can read a more detailed introduction here. The “average” score in each case was 2,000. Higher or lower scores indicated more or less entertaining teams, grounds or games. To predict what games will be most entertaining in this year’s fixture list, we averaged the total entertainment score for the home team, the away team and the stadium, and combined it with the BBEI score for the last matchup between the same two teams. This revealed the unmissable games of Season 07 of the Big Bash.
finder’s picks for the most entertaining games this summer
|1. Renegades v Heat||23 December||Etihad Stadium||2,409|
|2. Renegades v Strikers||22 January||Etihad Stadium||2,378|
|3. Heat v Renegades||27 January||Gabba||2,371|
|4. Strikers v Heat||31 December||Adelaide Oval||2,353|
|5. Hurricanes v Renegades||21 December||Blundstone Arena||2,224|
|6. Strikers vs Stars||9 January||Adelaide Oval||2,205|
|7. Renegades v Stars||22 January||Etihad Stadium||2,203|
|8. Heat v Hurricanes||10 January||Gabba||2,194|
|9. Renegades v Scorchers||29 December||Etihad Stadium||2,186|
|10. Strikers v Hurricanes||17 January||Adelaide Oval||2,126|
Melbourne BBL fans are in for a treat this season, with 6 out of 10 of the games featuring the Renegades. With a total team BBEI of 2138 on average last season, the Renegades were the second most entertaining outfit in the league just behind the Adelaide Strikers (2177 BBEI). In addition, their home ground of Etihad stadium was the most conducive to entertaining T20 cricket, topping the BBEI with a score of 2542.
I was unhappy to see that my miss the top 10, but the Sixers had a rather unentertaining 2016-17 season, with an average BBEI of 1559 - just ahead of the lowest-ranked Sydney Thunder at BBEI of 1429.
finder's most entertaining teams from the 2016-17 season
Can the Sydney teams up their game this summer and throw our predictions out of the water? Will our predictions hold true? Only time will tell. In the meantime, I’ll be at the SCG.
Graham Cooke's Insights Blog examines issues affecting the Australian consumer. It appears regularly on finder.com.au.
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