A day in the life of a Performance Analyst for the Australian Women’s Cricket Team
Featured Photo: Australian Women’s Cricket Team (Southern Stars) by Getty Images
The Australian Women’s National Cricket Team is currently ranked at number one in the world in both One Day Internationals and T20 Games, according to the International Cricket Council’s most recent rankings (Sep 2, 2019).
The women’s team has won more World Cups than any other side than in the world, and they have also been crowned champions of the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 tournament more than any other female cricket team since 1978.
However, behind all of the teams’ success, there is a group of people helping provide the statistics and trends required to ensure the women’s cricket team plays at their highest possible level.
Indian-Australian Sunny Kaliyar is part of a group of Performance Analysts working at Cricket Australia to train players and help formulate game plans to make sure the Australian women’s cricket team performs to the best of their ability in each game, no matter where they are playing or who they are up against.
We spoke to Sunny to learn more about his role as a Performance Analyst and to find out what he thinks is unique to Australian teams!
How did you become a performance analyst? Did you always want to work in cricket whilst growing up?
I’ve always been interested in technology and how computers work and I’ve also loved and played cricket since childhood – it’s in my blood! After doing a degree in Computer Engineering I was playing cricket for the MRF Pace Foundation (a club in Chennai). I was at a time in my career where I had to make a choice about where and how I could be connected to the sport long-term. In 2007, the job of an analyst was just starting up in India and I got an opportunity to go and work in a sports technology company.
Photo: Sunny Kaliyar and the team on a trip to Buckingham Palace, retrieved from The Royal Family Instagram
What happens in the day-to-day life of a performance analyst?
I am constantly researching cricket trends/data as well as following all the cricket tournaments. I keep close track of all the women’s games noting new and upcoming talent and create the coding schedule for the women’s domestic games. In doing this, I assign analysts across Australia to capture the games that need to be coded and uploaded to an online viewing tool for coaches, players, and their families to watch.
Whilst on tour days are busy and long, they also go by very quickly. I prepare the plans, vision, and data for our preview and review meetings, provide the players with objective feedback and put together any other requests from them or the coaches. Additionally, I’m hands-on in the field with batting, bowling and fielding drills.
What do you like most about being a performance analyst for the Australian Women’s Cricket Team?
We have a great culture in the team and I like how everyone is committed to our team values and lives by them. As individuals, we are always looking after each other and putting the team first. The players work hard, they are up for any challenge thrown at them and constantly strive to improve. We are accountable and informed, and I like how we standby our ‘no fluff’ policy on exchanging information within the team environment.
We just had a great series in England winning the Ashes and are looking forward to the Women’s T20 World Cup here in Australia early next year, with the Final to be played at the MCG in Melbourne on March 8, 2020, which is International Women’s Day.
Photo: Australian Women’s Cricket Team Performance Analyst Sunny Kaliyar and his daughter Maia
How is the Australian style of Cricket different to the Indian style?
Both Australia and India play exciting, entertaining and very competitive cricket and it’s great to see a lot of up and coming talent getting the opportunity to play for their countries. Having worked in Australian cricket for the last seven years I have seen fantastic all-round support given to the players for both their cricket and general well being. The women’s game in particular has evolved so much in the last few years with tournaments such as Women’s Big Bash League, Kia Super League in England and the Women’s IPL.
What was the Transition from India to Australia like?
I will always have a fond memory of my first proper coffee having arrived in Brisbane. Finding an apartment and generally getting set up was a far easier process here than in India and I have felt welcome and a sense of belonging since the start. My life in India has made me who I am but I fully embrace being here in this beautiful country and enjoy the outdoor lifestyle and all that it has to offer.
What do you miss most about India?
I miss my parents and of course, the food!
Follow the Australian Women’s Cricket Team on Instagram HERE