Economic theory for cricket loving dummies
This article is meant for all those people who have always wanted to understand the basic economic theory of price elasticity of demand, possess a
keen cricketing brain and are ready to stretch their credulity. Price elasticity in cricket is basically the relationship between the Selectors' patience level with a particular Captain and the price the selection committee is paying for him. If the Selectors' patience with a particular Captain drops as the number of Test losses go up then the Committee is described as "flexible"or "forward looking" or "a bunch of jokers"or "five wise/foolish men", depending on the party describing them. If the opposite is true and the Selectors' patience remains constant even if the number of Test losses goes up, then the phenomenon is called as "inelastic demand" or "TINA".
Most national Selection Committees are neither entirely one or the other, although there are examples of both extremes. Let us examine the extreme examples at present.
The above graph shows the dilemma faced by the Andrew Hilditch led Australian Selection Committee. The prefectly inelastic product. It shows that the demand for Ricky Ponting's captaincy isn't decreasing regardless of the number of matches Australia loses. This is a perfectly inelastic product. A good example cited in economics literature is a service industry, which has no other alternative, such as hospital care. It fits perfectly in Cricket Australia's case currently. The TINA (There Is No Alternative) category. Ponting is their best batter today. They can't fire him as a Captain and keep him as a mere player. Michael Clarke doesn't inspire too much confidence. And there is no other candidate really who can walk into the team and is senior enough and commands the entire team's respect.
The graph above shows the choices made by PCB in a perfectly elastic product scenario. If the number of Tests lost goes up, the Selection Committee's patience goes down immediately. In economics theory a good example of products which have very elastic demand are those with a lot of competitor brands or alternatives. And boy, the Pakistan team is made of 14 potential Captains. A series loss here or there and new captaincy candidates start popping up. This is also called as the TATMA (There Are Too Many Alternatives) category.
India used to fall some where in the nearly perfectly elastic product classification once upon a time, but is in the middle some where.
Isn't economics very simple?