OPINION: We Need To Talk About Play Cricket

Play Cricket is the official scorecard for the women’s county cricket in this country; but there’s no way to sugar-coat this: it’s not fit for purpose.

Let’s try to look up the stats of England’s surprise Test squad selection, Middlesex’s Fran Wilson – something that quite a lot of journalists are probably trying to do right now.

So… do we mean this Fran Wilson, who plays for Middlesex and averages 32; or this Fran Wilson, who plays for Middlesex and averages 70? Yes… Fran is in there twice – each Fran having played 4 games!

A similar problem (now apparently corrected) occurred earlier this year with Tammy Beaumont, but at least there was a (sort-of) excuse that time: she was listed as “Tammy” and “Tamsin”.

The folks who developed Play Cricket would probably argue that this is “user error” (also known in the trade as a “BCK Exception” – standing for “Between Chair and Keyboard”) but good software doesn’t let users hang themselves like this – it should be checking for similar (or in the case of Fran identical) names when the scorecard is uploaded!

But these aren’t the only problems. Off the top of my head:

  • There is no search facility. (Unless I’ve missed it… in which case this is still the developers’ fault!)
  • The site is quite literally unusable on an iPhone because the menus are broken.
  • The user experience on any tablet or mobile (or indeed any laptop or netbook with a screen-height of 768px or less – i.e. an awful lot of them) is terrible, with nested scroll-bars and a plethora of popups which make back-navigation impossible.

In short, Play Cricket needs to go for a walk.

A long walk.

A “Captain Oates” walk.

Because we’ve got a brand-new Super League coming next year for women’s cricket in England; and it needs an official scorecard that works.

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2 thoughts on “OPINION: We Need To Talk About Play Cricket

  1. Well said! And don’t forget ECB calculated its national participation figure from playcricket, which is ridden with players, sometimes whole teams, called ‘unsure’.

    Chris (Declaration Game)

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