SACA announces launch of Standard Bank rankings

SACA announces launch of Standard Bank rankings

The South African Cricketers’ Association (SACA) today announced the launch of a unique player ranking system for South African domestic professional cricket designed by the players and sponsored by Standard Bank.

The Standard Bank Rankings will rank domestic players based on points earned in batting, bowling and fielding performances in all three domestic cricket competitions going back to the beginning of the 2008 / 2009 season in October 2008.

Batting points are earned for runs scored, strike rates, milestones (eg. 50’s and 100’s) and percentage of runs a batsman contributes to the overall team score. Bowling points are earned for wickets taken, economy rates, milestones (eg. 5 - fors) and according to the calibre of batsman dismissed (ie. more points for a top order batsman). Fielding points are earned for catches, stumpings and involvement in run-outs.

The points are weighted across the competitions to cater for optimal performance in the three different formats of the game. For example batting strike rates and bowling economy rates are weighted more heavily in the shorter formats of the game. Additional points are awarded for winning a match and to the captain for captaining a winning team.

“These rankings are a player initiative and we have licensed the formula for the Standard Bank Rankings from the English Players’ Association where it has been used in their rankings for the past two seasons” said Tony Irish, SACA’s Chief Executive Officer. “The same formula is also being used in Australia and New Zealand this season, so it is tried and tested and we know that it is an accurate reflection of a player’s performance across the three formats”.

SACA believes that the Standard Bank Rankings will play an important role in bench-marking the performances of cricketers in the domestic competitions. “Whilst a degree of subjectivity will always be there in selecting teams we think the Standard Bank Rankings will become a very useful tool for the Proteas selectors”, said Irish. “It will also assist franchise coaches in team selections and franchise CEO’s in decisions around which players to contract and in determining the value of contracts.”

“Standard Bank is our partner in this exciting new cricket property and we have been supported in this by Cricket South Africa” said Irish. “As a major sponsor in South African cricket, and with a longstanding involvement in cricket going back to 1997, Standard Bank has a substantial investment in the game and is keen to be involved in something which measure and promotes player performances.

Standard Bank is also the sponsor of our player education programme and this sponsorship allows us to educate players around issues related to their careers off the field and to prepare them for life after cricket. This is a big factor in producing high calibre all round professionals”.

Clement Motale, Standard Bank’s Director Group Sponsorships said “This is an initiative which is backed by the players and has credibility with them. It is also supported by Cricket South Africa. These are important factors for us”

Cricket South Africa (CSA) recognises that the Standard Bank Rankings could play a significant role in giving recognition to performances of franchise cricketers. Gerald Majola, the Chief Executive Officer of CSA, said “Cricket South Africa is supportive of this initiative and we hope it will assist in identifying players who may be in line for selection to the Proteas”.

Commenting on the Standard Bank Rankings, Boeta Dippenaar, captain of the Diamond Eagles said: “As professional sportsmen we are all very competitive so I think most of the guys are going to follow these rankings pretty closely and will want to get ahead in them”. Ahmed Amla, captain of the Nashua Dolphins added: “The great thing about these rankings is that they will give you a pretty accurate reading of who the in-form players actually are in all three of the domestic competitions at any point in time during the season”

SACA also runs a ‘Most Valued Player’ programme called the SACA MVP which combines a player’s on-field performances with his results achieved in the SACA education programme. The final Standard Bank Rankings taken on the last day of the season will be used as the on-field measure for the SACA MVP.

The Standard Bank Rankings will go live on the SACA website (www.saca.org.za) and the Standard Bank Cricket website (www.standardbankcricket.com) on 26 January 2009 following the two Standard Bank Pro20 matches on 25 January 2009. The rankings will be updated after every domestic competition match to allow for the monitoring of where each player stands at any point in time during the season.

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