Preliminary stages in the validation of a talent identification model in cricket

Electronic versions


  • Edward Barney

    Research areas

  • PhD, School of Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences


Talent identification is an integral component of the ever-professionalised sporting landscape. However, to date, there is a dearth of high quality evidence upon which to conduct talent identification practice. This thesis represents the preliminary stages in the validation of a talent identification model for cricket. The thesis contains six chapters (four empirical), which examine varying methodological approaches to talent identification, and present initial evidence (cross sectional and longitudinal) of those attributes that may be related to elite success. Chapter 2 presents two pilot studies examining the reliability and discriminant validity of batting and pace bowling assessments. Varying levels of validity and reliability are found. Some evidence suggests that skill-based differences (between high and low ability groups) become more pronounced after familiarisation / practice. Chapter 3 presents two studies examining the discriminant validity of scouting, and the most appropriate methodologies through which scouting can be conducted. The analysis documents significant discriminant value in scouting data. Skill-based scouting parameters consistently discriminate between low and high ability groups. Psychological scouting variables are the only data that discriminate between high and very high ability groups. Chapter 4 presents a longitudinal analysis of performance statistics. Findings suggest that performance statistics may be a valuable talent identification tool. Performance statistics that represent non-traditional metrics (e.g., ability to adapt on entering a new environment) consistently correlated with subsequent performance and are worthy of further examination. Chapter 5 presents evidence examining relative age effect and maturation across the male and female England Cricket Pathway. The findings suggest that RAEs may be advantageous from a development perspective, with relatively young athletes who remain in the system, becoming overrepresented at later stages.


Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Lewis Hardy (Supervisor)
Thesis sponsors
  • England and Wales Cricket Board Ltd
Award date27 May 2015