With Australia about to get hit by Big Bash fever for another summer, the Official Big Bash Rankings are back, better than ever.
The Rankings, devised by esteemed Bond University Professor Steven Stern – the man who also lends his name to the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method used for recalculating rain-affected run chase targets – with Cricket Australia, separates batters, bowlers and allrounders.
The system uses performances from both current and past KFC Big Bash League seasons, weighted on a sliding scale from the three most recent summers to provide the most accurate, up-to-date measure of player performance.
This summer, those weightings have been tweaked slightly to provide fans with the most accurate representation of player performance possible.
"At the end of last summer, there was some lively debate about the fact that some of the top-rated allrounders hadn't actually performed outstandingly in both disciplines," Professor Stern said.
"Last summer, performances from the 2015-16 summer were weighted at about 30 per cent, and the season prior to that at 10 per cent. This year, that has been shifted to 20 and five per cent respectively.
"Additionally, I've added a further tweak to the criteria for who is included in the potential allrounder pool.
"Previously, the criteria was based on sufficient output in both disciplines over the past three seasons, whereas now it will be primarily based on output in the current season.
"In this way, it will not be possible for a player to wind up as a high-rating allrounder without having contributed significantly in both batting and bowling in the current season."
The ratings have has become a fascinating feature of the past two BBL seasons and was introduced into the Rebel WBBL last summer. It is largely based around the comparative impacts of each individual player in a match.
"It's an aggregate measure, based on total performance of players over the games they've played, so there will be some upping and downing through the season as players get more games," Stern said.
"The most straightforward way to explain it is, in each game, suppose we took a player's actual performance out, and substituted in for it what the average of all the other players in the game would have produced in his place. How much difference would that make?
"Basically each player gets the difference – positive or negative – between what they actually did and what the average of the other players would have been expected to do, if they had played the same deliveries in the match.
"That way you're allowing the performances of the players themselves to tell you what the average conditions are, and if you outcompete the other players in terms of what they would have done in your place, then you get a positive component to your aggregate for the season, and if not, you get a negative. In that way, players will go up or down after each match in which they play."
Throughout BBL|07 and WBBL|03, bigbash.com.au will reveal regular updates for the top 10 batters and bowlers, and the top five allrounders.