History of the Cricket Simulator

Back in 1990 I had moved from a computer programming career into IT management.  I missed the challenge of writing programs so decided to mix my two interests and my statistical background and started to develop a cricket simulation program in a completely new language.  I was brought up using COBOL, dabbled with Basic and ended up looking at C – which was quite a stiff learning curve.

However, in the 1990’s my family came along and by the time it reached 1996 I no longer had the free time to devote to developing things further.  A few years later and we had entered the world of Windows and programs developed in DOS were no longer used.  I therefore parked my project with the intention to one day re-write the code (the algorithms are still solid) using C++, although again time would be the delaying factor.

As my son grew he developed a love of cricket and started playing his dad’s old game using the command prompt that was still available.  He loved it, as did friends who he shared it with, so the underlying concept and the mathematics behind it was sound.

Fast forward to 2020 and being confined to working from home I looked at ways of getting the old DOS program to run and I stumbled across an excellent emulator (vDOS) which works perfectly on my Windows 10 environment.  Even better, I worked out that I could also change the code and create a new executable application.  During a house move I had thrown out the manual but this just made my new project more of a challenge.  The only copy that seems to exist is in a museum – the Centre for Computing History, in Cambridge, which itself is unfortunately closed due to the pandemic. And yes, I did check!

Cricket has moved on a lot since I wrote the program for the 1990’s game – no Twenty20 for a start.  Also, back in the day a no ball only counted as a extra if no runs were scored off it and run rates were generally slower.  The simulator has now been updated to correct the no ball situation (although free hits is on the list of things to do), and T20 with its different scoring profile due to Powerplays has been included.   This delving into the workings of the code has re-awakened my understanding of what/why I developed the program in the way that I did and will most likely lead to further changes as things progress.

Watch this space!