BPL 2017 Draft Analysis

Today's BPL 2017 draft was, as expected, an extremely lengthy process and also as expected, produced a mixture of solid and utterly bizarre player selections from what was extremely mixed quality draft list.

I want to focus on the overseas player draft, and in particular, the batsmen contained in this.  The primary reason for this is due to the fact that the BPL has historically been one of the hardest leagues in T20 to score runs.  

In 2016, the mean first innings score in the BPL was 147.96, with the median being 148 - obviously these are very low scores and the main reasons for this are likely to be due to both pitch conditions and also a failure to understand attacking intent properly.

Mohammad Isam, the Cricinfo correspondent for Bangladesh, alluded to this failure to understand high value T20 scoring in his recent article, which can be found here.  A stated issue surrounded the propensity of players to follow boundaries with defensive shots, as opposed to maintaining the pressure on bowlers.  

Processing the numbers for all of the players in the BPL draft, it was also apparent that this phenomenon transferred itself into Pakistan players, with a number having decent boundary hitting percentages but low strike rates.  Any player with average or above average boundary hitting percentages but a low strike rate clearly plays too many dot balls, otherwise they'd be able to transfer their strong boundary hitting rates into high strike rates.

The boundary hitting percentage in the BPL in isolation is very low, with just 13.85% of deliveries hit for boundaries in 2016, although this did considerably rise from 13.11% in 2015.  However, the 2016 figures still are around 3% below the high-scoring T20 Blast in England this year.  

An increase in batting data from 2015 to 2016 was also apparent in the averages and strike rates, rising from 18.90 to 21.33 for batting average, and 107.83 to 115.97 for strike rate.