County cricket November 5, 2012

Rain, injuries and call-ups - what cost Notts

The first of our four-part series of statistical analysis on the 2012 County Championship

Nottinghamshire have ample excuses for the collapse of their Championship challenge according to a statistical study of the 2012 season.

Records drawn up by Neville Scott, a freelance cricket journalist who specialises in analysis of the county game, show that Nottinghamshire were more badly hit than any other county by the combined effects of the absences of first-choice players and one of the wettest summers ever endured.

For much of the season, Nottinghamshire were the closest challengers to Warwickshire, eventual winners of County Championship, until a late slide saw them finish fifth as another high-profile dip into the transfer market, this time for the England batsman James Taylor, failed to bring immediate rewards.

But statistics show that Nottinghamshire lost an average of nearly four players per match to injury or international calls, more than any other county in both divisions, and also potentially lost more points because of rain than any of their Division One rivals.

Scott's study aims to show not just a simple record of hours of play lost to rain but the maximum realistic number of extra points which they might have gained but for rain - a somewhat notional figure but one which seeks to provide a more accurate assessment of a county's ill luck.

Not only did Nottinghamshire miss the chance to gain a maximum of 120 extra points because of the dismal weather, nine of their 16 Championship matches were affected.

Three Division Two counties - Yorkshire, Essex and Gloucestershire - were more badly affected by the weather than Nottinghamshire. For Essex, who can normally rely on drier weather than most, it was an unusual situation.

Yorkshire's Australian coach, Jason Gillespie, bemoaned the weather on an almost daily basis and he had reason, despite their success in sneaking promotion in the last game of the season, as rain had robbed them from contesting 151 additional points - the worst luck in the country.

Those who regarded Derbyshire's promotion with surprise will notice that they shared with Sussex the best fortune with the weather.

Mitigating Factors
County Absent Rain
1 Warwickshire 2.75 94 (7)
2 Somerset 2.87 109 (8)
3 Middlesex 2.00 84 (7)
4 Sussex 0.94 57 (5)
5 Nottinghamshire 3.59 120 (9)
6 Durham 0.83 73 (5)
7 Surrey 2.40 105 (7)
8 Lancashire 1.47 103 (7)
9 Worcestershire 0.75 95 (7)
10 Derbyshire 0.75 57 (4)
11 Yorkshire 2.00 151 (12)
12 Kent 0.50 111 (8)
13 Hampshire 0.75 92 (7)
14 Essex 1.84 142 (10)
15 Glamorgan 1.27 75 (6)
16 Leicestershirshire 2.31 97 (8)
17 Northamptonshire 1.59 90 (7)
18 Gloucestershire 1.53 121 (8)
Absent: Average number of first-choice players absent per match through injury or by England orders; excludes IPL absentees or overseas players who could have been replaced
Rain: Max. realistic number of extra points which might have been gained but for rain. Number of affected games in brackets.

More than half the Championship matches played were interrupted by rain to an extent where stoppages affected points gained - comfortably the highest number since Scott began his study 13 years ago.

Rain, rain, go away
  Division One Division Two Total
1999     25.49%
2000 40.28% 45.83% 43.06%
2001 43.06% 36.11% 39.58%
2002 33.33% 20.83% 27.08%
2003 40.28% 29.17% 34.72%
2004 44.44% 43.06% 43.75%
2005 26.39% 38.89% 32.64%
2006 25.00% 23.61% 24.31%
2007 38.89% 34.72% 36.81%
2008 47.22% 47.22% 47.22%
2009 38.89% 37.50% 38.19%
2010 30.56% 27.78% 29.17%
2011 18.06% 25.00% 21.23%
2012 50.00% 52.78% 51.59%

Tomorrow: In the second of our four-part series, we reveal the only county that fielded a majority of players in 2012 who learned their cricket outside the UK; and why Yorkshire can no longer regard themselves as more homegrown than most.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • david on November 8, 2012, 11:49 GMT

    matey you should support lancs if you think that rain hits your season. apart from last year 2011 when we won it. most years i would guess we get the most.

  • Dummy4 on November 5, 2012, 23:41 GMT

    2011 was a good summer? Bugger it. Time to think about emigrating.

  • John on November 5, 2012, 22:22 GMT

    2012 was affected by weather but it seems that Notts weren't in a very strong position in several games which were rain affected.Somerset were dominating several rain affected games & were well on top of Notts both home and away which I guess the author failed to notice/recognise. If both those matches were unaffected the likelihood is that Somerset would have been 30 points up and would have been on Warwicks tail all season.Rain helped us in 1 maybe 2 but when you only really get penalised if you lose to teams battling with you for the title or against relegation you'd rather take 3 wins and a defeat or 2 defeats against 5 draws.Unlike football (games get replayed if abandoned) a team can be lower down the table because it can't play the games to achieve the wins.And re absentees much also depends on WHO you're missing.We were without Tres (2011s D1 player of the year) for most of 2012 and Nick (2012 player of the year) for several games too not to mention bowlers etc

  • Dummy4 on November 5, 2012, 21:17 GMT

    Sounds like sour grapes to me, warwickshire and somerset were hit almost as badly in terms of weather and unavailability... Fact of the matter is this, Jeetan Patels 43* at Edgbaston decided the championship, Notts need a nice big cup of man up :)

  • Matthew on November 5, 2012, 13:57 GMT

    Warm summers are a thing of the past if you believe the climate change boffins. the best we can hope for in furure is one like 2011

  • Sanjay on November 5, 2012, 13:24 GMT

    2011 was surprisingly DRY. However, it was hardly a warm summer, the conditions were almost always overcast, cold-ish, somehow the clouds didn't burst. Last season (2012) was simply a disaster, there's no doubt the weather played a major role. Let's hope not only for a warm summer in 2013 but several glorious summers.

  • No featured comments at the moment.