Numbers Don't Lie February 1, 2016

Older but quicker

Busting the myth that T20 is a format for the young

Play 05:35

When T20 cricket was first introduced, most experts expected it to be dominated by younger players. In recent years, that theory has been turned on its head by the success of players over the age of 35 in competitions around the world.

  • Batsmen over the age of 35 average 25.82 since January 2014, marginally higher than those under 35 who average 23.59
  • Chris Gayle's average of 51.80 after turning 35 is better than his average of 41.72 before that age
  • Bowlers over the age of 35 have been operating at an economy rate of 7.5 since January 2014, the same as bowlers under 35

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. @rajeshstats

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  •   Abhinav Agarwal on February 3, 2016, 7:02 GMT

    actually there should be a balance between the youth and experience. it should be that way. if you look at successful franchises like Mumbai Indians,CSK or RR,Perth Scotchers or the Melbourne Stars or Sydney Thunders or KKR(won 2 IPLs) or the Cobras and Titans and Dolphins there is always a balance between youth and senior and middle aged players. like in CSK Dhoni,McCullum,faf,Bravo,Nehra,dwayne smith are all over 30 but Not over 35 (except Nehra) ashwin and raina are in late twenties,Jaddu,Mohit sharma and ishwar pandey are in mid-20s pawan negi is youth aged 23 so here we see the age was very balanced. just one between 35-40 and no teenager mostly the team is between 25-35.

    In dolphins morne van wyk is 36,cameron delport 26,keshav maharaj 25,david miller 26,cody chetty 24,rob frylinck 31,KP is 36 bravo 32 kyle abbott is 27 Andile Phehlukwayo is 19 imran tahir is 35 these are just 2 successful franchises i hv mentioned. rest you can analyse yourself and see how balance is the key

  • bilal on February 3, 2016, 0:09 GMT

    Most of the over 35 who play the T20 league are established cricketers . You are talking about likes of Gayle, Sangakarra, Sehwag. I agree with some of the other posts that it is an absurd comparison.

  • Muhammad on February 2, 2016, 5:04 GMT

    That's because experience also matters, not only fresh blood.

  • Neil on February 2, 2016, 2:54 GMT

    If Sachin were still playing, the over 35 batting average would have dropped by at least 10 runs.

  • Sandeep on February 2, 2016, 2:30 GMT

    I think the analysis is flawed. It is comparing (I am assuming) all the over 35 players with all under 35 players. To begin with if a player over 35 is playing he is playing because he is a good player atleast better than average for sure. Second the size of player over 35, I am guessing is significantly smaller than those under 35. So good players having good scores average out over smaller number leading to a higher average. Wheres as a significant number of players under 35 with scores all over when averaged over a larger count will obviously end up with lower average. Won't they?

    So with this to conclude that Players over 35 are better performers than players under 35 is a flawed conclusion in my opinion. A better comparision would be top 10 or 20 bowlers/batsmen in each age segments of over and under35 and then see how they compare? I would be interested in that comparision.

  •   Vijay Srinivas on February 1, 2016, 19:46 GMT

    Well, we can see this. Brad Hogg and Brad Hodge selected for 2014 T20 World Cup. Ashish Nehra selected for T20 against Australia. And of course, Dilhara Fernando selected for India-Sri Lanka T20 series. And yes, who can forget Pravin Tambe's sensational run at the IPL.

  • Saurabh on February 1, 2016, 19:06 GMT

    It is like saying "Iceland has the highest number of per-capita Nobel Prize winners in the world" because they have a small population and only 1 Nobel laureate. Contrary to "Numbers don't lie", I think it is a perfect example of how meaningless statistics can be.

    There are far fewer players over 35 as compared to those under 35, and many of the younger ones are inexperienced and are subject to team experiments and are liable to contribute towards the low batting averages and high bowling economy rates.

  • Mahadevan on February 1, 2016, 12:34 GMT

    Definitely older players could do better due to some reasons. And this is the case of players who have especially achieved a lot till 35 in longer formats. The bowlers need to bowl just four accurate overs. May be they could not bowl ten accurate overs but could do well for four overs. And batsmen need not concentrate for long which is the need for them in tests or in ODIs. An accomplished batsman could specialize in making cameos which are valuable in T20s.

  • Jeremy on February 1, 2016, 11:04 GMT

    @PIYUSH144 i thought the same thing. Should have been a tweet maybe or its just in keeping with the shortened format of the game.

  • Tom on February 1, 2016, 10:52 GMT

    One obvious caveat to these figures, that the pundits have not addressed, is that the vast majority of over-35s who are getting picked to play for national or franchise T20 teams are established performers with exceptional careers behind them. The very fact that these players have played to this age, and are still attractive options in this format, means that they are among a pool of elite talent. On the other hand, dozens of young, unproven players - many of whom may not 'make the grade' in the longer term - are now starting their careers in this format. Inevitably, numbers for the younger sample will be less impressive, because the natural selection process which has ensured the quality of the over-35s group has not occurred in the younger population. Indeed, the fact that the figures are not skewed more heavily in favour of the over-35s is surprising.

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