Unearthing England’s Next World Cup Stars

Whilst the ecstasy of England’s recent World Cup success of the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is still fresh in the mind, efforts to prepare the next generation of England cricketers for future success are already well underway at Bangor University. 

What does it take to develop into World’s Best? This is the question that @BenJones0411 of @SportSciBangor has been exploring for the past five years during his England & Wales Cricket Board funded PhD, sponsored by the ECB, under the supervision of Professor Lew Hardy and Dr Gavin Lawrence.

The research explored the backgrounds of England’s ‘super-elite’ to identify what ‘makes the difference’ at the very highest level, through conducting detailed interviews with England’s cricketers for over 3 hours. The researchers applied state-of-the-art machine learning techniques to the 600+ factors collected from the interviews, ranging from demographics, practice hours, and even exploring the ways that England cricketers practiced during their development, to identify those all-important factors that separate world’s best, from the rest.

Now graduated, Dr Ben Jones is consulting with the ECB to help convert these findings into development insights that will contribute to England’s quest for sustained success over many years to come.

Publication date: 29 July 2019