Using the 438 Cricket Game to Explain the Comrades Cutoff Controversy


A good way of explaining the Comrades cutoff controversy is using cricket as an analogy. You needed to run at an average pace of 8:13/km to finish the 2023 Comrades Marathon in 11:59:59. The average pace required could be seen as our required run rate, the 87.7 kilometres to cover as the total runs required and the 12 hours to do it in as the maximum overs available.

For simplicities sake, I am going to convert everything into round numbers and I thought the greatest one-day cricket match of all time would be a suitable metaphor. So here’s the scenario – Australia batted first and scored 434. Therefore, we need to score 435 in 50 overs. Our 8:13/km becomes a required run rate of 8.7 per over, a kilometre is about 5 runs (4.96 to be precise), and an over equates to just under 15 minutes (14:34) in race time.

“Pacing chart” converting the 438 game into Comrades 2023 figures (87.7km at 8:13/km in 12 hours). If CMA-logic was applied, the Proteas would have needed to be above the original required run rate of 8.7 at the 39 and 46 over mark – and we’d have been denied the opportunity to see Mark Boucher and Makhaya Ntini hit the winning runs with 1 ball to spare.
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