What Does WASP Mean in Cricket?

Cricket is a game that provides a host of statistics and calculations for fans to take on board and here I’m going to look at one of the newest introductions – WASP.

What is WASP in Cricket

WASP in cricket stands for Win And Score Predictor and it offers projections on team totals while showing the likelihood of the side batting second winning or losing the match.

It works by taking the current run rate, wickets lost and overs remaining to come up with its findings.

Win and Score Predictor

WASP can be used for predicting both the probability of the 1st batting team or the chasing team winning in the second innings of a match. It is mostly seen in limited overs cricket although there is scope for it to be used in tests.

For sides batting first, it will take into account the players, their past records and the conditions in order to predict their final total. As the game begins and the overs progress, that total has the capacity to change and to go up or down.

WASP reacts to wickets, increased or decreased run rate and it will continue to adjust that total as the overs pass by.

When a team chases, a total has already been set so WASP will now show a percentage. This reflects the chances of either team winning the game and it will also update as the innings continues.

That underlines the two functions of WASP:

  • It’s a winning and score predictor and, in the first innings, it will predict the team’s score. In the second innings, it predicts who will win.
  • While it’s not essential to the game, WASP is a useful tool for viewers to follow.
  • Additionally, it can also be helpful for the betting community who are looking to stake on the winner of a game.


How does it Work?

This is a much more complex piece of equipment than other score predictors as it takes on far more information. Before the game, details are fed into WASP based on the strengths of the two sides and head to head records against each other.

Other factors such as the pitch and overhead conditions are also examined while WASP goes even further by taking on board details such as the dimensions of the field.

That highly detailed information gets updated after every single ball, even if there isn’t a major change such as a wicket falling or a six being hit.

The exact mechanics of WASP are carried out via a complex mathematical formula and it’s not an easy thing for a layman to understand. Essentially, it takes on board the number of runs that have been scored up to that specific point in the game, along with the number of wickets that have fallen.

Projecting into the future, the winning and score predictor then takes into account mathematical probability. In particular, it will calculate the probability of runs being scored or a wicket falling. It then completes the calculation and provides us with updated predictions on either the score or the possibility of the team batting second chasing down their target.

As the deliveries pass by, the calculations are updated and, at regular intervals, the predicted first innings total, or the percentage win predictor will appear on our TV screens.

Who Created the WASP Calculation?

WASP originates in New Zealand where it was originally intended to provide an alternative to the Duckworth Lewis method for rain reduced matches. It was subsequently devised at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch by Dr Scott Brooker and Dr Seamus Hogan.

When was WASP First Used?

WASP continued its development in New Zealand where it was used for the first time in 2012. The HRV Cup T20 game between Auckland and Wellington provided the system with the backdrop for its first ever outing.


Response to WASP

WASP has been largely met with a positive response: Where there has been criticism, some observers may have forgotten that this is only meant to give indications rather than concrete predictions.

Unlike Duckworth Lewis, the outcome of a match does not depend on this system and we should keep that point in mind.

Having said that, there are some potential drawbacks with WASP and some variables within the game of cricket that it cannot cover. For example, if a batsman retires hurt, it’s not known at the point they leave the field whether they will return and, if they do, what position will they be batting in?

This anomaly came to fruition in a match between England and New Zealand when Martin Guptill, a high class opening batter, retired and later returned at number nine. WASP couldn’t compensate for the fact that a quality batsman was coming in so low down the order.

WASP also isn’t good at predicting new world records as it tends to work within existing scores, that is historical data, as if we took an average team playing with another average team.

Overall, my opinion on this is that WASP is a fun cricket calculation tool and that it can certainly help new fans to understand play and to predict how the game will finish. Of course, there are so many things that can influence the numbers. Batsmen in form can simply play a poor shot and the WASP predictions will be wrong and will have to readjust.

I think it’s fun and a valuable addition to the sport but I don’t feel that WASP is yet ready to play an important role in any of cricket’s established laws.