Here I'm going to look at some more figures to do with activity ratings.
I first looked at the last twelve years of test cricket (I'm missing some data for 1997, so I can only look from 1998 onwards). During this time there has been a noticeable increase in batsman's activity ratings. This may be due to a number of factors, perhaps the fielding is better now, so many shots that would have got 4 now get 2's or 3's. Perhaps captains are setting more defensive fields, and so there are more gaps, or perhaps the batsmen are just getting better at scoring ones and twos.
If you plot it on a graph (and I did because I'm a maths teacher) it has an incredibly linear relationship, with the annual activity rating increasing by about 0.004 per year.
The next thing that I did was to look at the the results for ODI's and twenty twenty internationals. The interesting thing here is that the same trend did not reoccur. The ODI numbers were fairly constant, between 0.4 and 0.5, while the T20 results show not consistency at all (possibly due to the format being so new, and it initially been seen as not very serious).
The interesting thing here is that 2002 and 2006 both were significantly lower than the other years in ODI's. It might warrant some further investigation as to why this is, although 2006 was the first year that matches between non-test playing nations were considered ODI's, and games involving Bangladesh and Kenya were first recognised in 2002, so these could be contributing factors.
The next thing that I looked at was the ratings for each team for the last 3 years. With the exception of Sri Lanka, the ranking of the teams by activity is the same as the ranking of the teams by the ICC, and (with the exception of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka) it is a very good guide to the ICC ranking points.
I'll draw some more info out of it in my next post.