March 21, 2019
With the cricket World Cup 2019 around the corner, ESPNcricinfo has partnered with Indian Institute of Technology - Madras (IIT-Madras) to launch ‘Superstats’, a next level artificial intelligence tool that can analyse cricket statistics through machine learning and forecast, if and how a player’s or a team’s performance can turn around a game, on real time.
Superstats will analyse the game of cricket on a combination of stats metrics- Luck index, forecaster and smart stats using data science for the first time to give a context to every event in a game and also venture into new territories such as luck and forecasting.
According to IIT researchers, the algorithms process data to quantify the impact of luck and analyse the real value of a player’s performance in the game of cricket on real time. Apart from forecasting, it also reveals trends and patterns during a game as the actual match data is fed on real time.
For this, Superstats uses the vast ball-by-ball database of ESPNcricinfo, which has more than a decade of detailed data, and scientific methods, processes and complex algorithms based machine learning.
This work was led by Raghunathan Rengaswamy and Mahesh Panchagnula of IIT-Madras along with the ESPN team.
Sambit Bal, editor-in-chief, ESPNcricinfo and ESPN South Asia, said, “The development of these new metrics filled a long-felt gap in evaluating cricket performances. ESPNcricinfo has always been a pioneer in cricket data analysis and we have combined big data, cricket intelligence, and also data science to produce a set of numbers that will help fans understand and appreciate the game better.”
Speaking about the data analytics behind this initiative, Raghunathan Rengaswamy, Department of Chemical Engineering, IIT-Madras, said, “While there might be many interpretations for luck, these algorithms rationalise and consistently quantify luck events so that a whole tournament with matches that occurred in disparate circumstances could be compared in an ‘apples-to-apples’ fashion.”
He further added, “The AI work at IIT-Madras is targeted towards several verticals such as fintech, manufacturing, smart city, biological systems engineering, and healthcare. Through this project, we have now forayed into sports analytics as well.”
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