Over the 20-odd years of its existence, the website Cricinfo has grown into some kind of authority as far as cricket goes.
The site was bought by the American sports broadcaster ESPN in 2007 and is now known as ESPN Cricinfo.
The site has a big archive with statistics, all of which are claimed to be correct.
But how many errors are there? Cricket is a game that lives off statistics and if any of those are wrong, then the site would be of little use.
This afternoon (January 8) I was watching the third day’s play of the fourth Test between Australia and India on TV. I had a look at the ESPNCricinfo site to check how many overs were remaining for the day.
At the time I checked, the 108th over of India’s innings has just begun. I noticed that the commentator, an Indian named Abhishek Purohit, had listed Mitchell Starc as the bowler for the 107th over. That over had just been bowled by Josh Hazlewood.
I watched for a while to see if this would be corrected. Then over 109 began and again Purohit listed Starc as the bowler when Hazlewood was continuing.
Now Starc is a left-hander and Hazlewood a right-hander. No commentator should get them mixed up. They are both tall but then these are supposed to be professional commentators.
After I sent the site a series of emails using the feedback button, Starc’s name was changed to Hazlewood for one over and then slowly for the next. For a while over 107 had Hazlewood bowling five balls, and Starc the sixth. I sent in another email and then this was corrected too.
There was no acknowledgement of my emails. There was not even a word of thanks from Purohit.
It raises the question — how many other such errors are committed on a daily basis by incompetent staff? How are things checked for accuracy?
This website is supposed the be the canonical digital authority for cricket worldwide. It seems to be as unreliable as many other resources on the internet.