Cricket at the international level is a game of extreme skill. Events on the ground do not occur randomly, and so should be measurable. Is it possible to predict the outcome of cricket matches? By itself, this is not an interesting question. The outcome of cricket matches is predicted quite well by bookmakers. Not only are they able to offer odds for a match, but they are also able to update those odds based on the progress of a game. The state of a contest at any point during this contest is not entirely a mystery.
The more interesting question is, can a cricket match be described richly based on the records of the players who feature in the match, before the match starts? FormBook is a simulation model which attempts one such description. When measured by comparing the actual results of matches to the description provided by FormBook, the model performs quite well. This in turn suggests that the intuitions on which the model is based are good ones.
FormBook is the result of countless misspent hours on ESPNCricinfo's wonderful statsguru, and the Cricket Archive. These are the standard references for anyone who wants to look at records, scorecards and the like. These sites do not provide analysis apart from basic splits by opponent, by time, by part of the match and other such criteria. FormBook runs a simple version of the Monte Carlo style of simulation. Here are detailed descriptions of the method for predicting for simulating Tests, ODIs and T20s. This is intended as a complete description which others can use and replicate the match descriptions on this website.
The site currently describes international cricket matches and all T20 matches. It is not intended as an archive of cricket matches. It is designed to offer a systematic description of cricket across eras and formats.
This site is a weekend project. It has been developed over many weekends over the past few months using ideas and intuitions developed over many years of (some say excessive) cricket fandom, just as my other cricket related writing on Cricketing View and contributions to ESPNCricinfo's Cordon and The Cricket Monthly. It is written in Python using the Flask web framework and the wonderful assistance of the public internet. This site was released on June 4, 2015, and will be kept in perpetual beta, extending it with ideas I find interesting.
I hope spending time on this site is as much fun for all of you as making it has been for me. I welcome suggestions, feedback, criticisms, ideas for improving the model and any other communication for you at my twitter handle @cricketingview. FormBook's descriptions of matches will also be posted here, so please follow this handle if you want to keep track of what FormBook has to say about upcoming games.