Excel Spreadsheet For Cricket: Case Study


How can an Excel spreadsheet for cricket help people to get the analysis they need? The below case study describes an Excel development project that modelled the scoring system of an amateur cricket league, created instant analysis, and saved the time and energy of the league organisers. Read on to find out how an Excel spreadsheet for cricket can provide insight, and save valuable time and energy.

Click here to watch a video explaining some of the Excel techniques used to create the Excel spreadsheet for cricket.

Excel spreadsheet for cricket Picture 1


Ian Smith, Secretary of the Nottinghamshire Premier League, got in touch with Tiger Spreadsheet Solutions in Spring 2013. Ian needed a spreadsheet to track results in Nottinghamshire’s highest standard of amateur cricket, and to generate a league table to publish on the league website. Due to the intricacies of the scoring system in cricket, this was not as easy as it might sound. Ian picks up the story.

‘To be honest, I was not sure if an Excel spreadsheet for cricket would work well. The scoring system relies on a host of complicated calculations such as run rates and bonus points. Also, we wanted to enter results for a whole season, and to be able to view a league table instantly. I did not think that an Excel spreadsheet for cricket could handle this kind of complexity and volume; but, what we had left us prone to human error and was not fit-for-purpose. We needed something better. It is fair to say that we were stumped!’

The previous solution, based on an Excel spreadsheet, came with a long set of instructions and relied on the league organisers to make some calculations themselves. Organisers would also have to manually sort and manipulate data to create the league table in the correct format. This led to inaccuracies in the league table, angry emails from team captains, and frustrated organisers.

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Project Inception

How did the project move forward from here? Chris Mortimer of Tiger Spreadsheet Solutions, who did most of the development on the project, explains how Tiger became involved.

‘As a keen amateur cricketer, I was excited about an Excel spreadsheet for cricket. We knew that what Ian needed was within the capabilities of Excel. We also knew that the previous solution, which relied on long, complicated formulae that are not easily auditable, was not ideal. We wanted to create something simple but powerful, that required minimal effort on the part of the user. Moreover, our aim was to make the league table ‘dynamic’, so that it would update automatically, without any user clicks. This would ease the pressure on league organisers.’

Development Process

In the first stage of the project, Ian shared information about how points are scored in the league. Chris was then able to produce an initial prototype that Ian was able to experiment with, and provide feedback on. On the technical aspect of the modelling, Chris comments:

Excel spreadsheet for cricket Picture 3

‘We needed sophisticated analysis to create the kind of league table we were looking for. To do this, there were a few possible approaches; for example, using pivot tables or visual basic for applications (VBA) – Excel’s programming language. However, the ideal solution would not require any clicks on the part of the user to trigger code, or to update pivot tables. So, we opted for a solution based entirely on Excel formulae, and employed multiple hidden sheets to perform calculations for each team. The second priority was to create a pleasant user experience – would the spreadsheet be easy-to-use? We met this priority by creating a clearly structured input sheet for the league organisers to input results. Inputs here are immediately reflected in the other sheet that users can see – the league table itself (pictured above.)’

Click here to watch a video explaining some of the Excel techniques used to create the Excel spreadsheet for cricket.

Project Impact

As the project progressed, the league organisers were trained in how to use the spreadsheet, and small amounts of data were inputted to test it out. Chris and Ian worked together to iron out bugs as and when they occurred. The spreadsheet was ‘rolled out’ at the beginning of the 2013 season, and generated its first published league table in April 2013. Since then, the league organisers have used the spreadsheet to quickly generate the analysis they need. On the impact of the project, Ian comments:

‘I did not think that an Excel spreadsheet for cricket would have such an impact. Because of the spreadsheet, a task that was mentally demanding and time-consuming is now routine. It has made the job of the organisers less stressful and allowed us to focus on running the league as efficiently as possible. If you are working with a problematic Excel spreadsheet in cricket, I would recommend getting in touch with Chris and the team at Tiger.’

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