How To Calculate Bowling Economy In Cricket?

How to Calculate the Economy in cricket for bowling? Important Methods to Know!

The concept of economy holds a significant place in cricket. Have you ever thought about the method a statistician uses to calculate the economy in cricket?

Typically, the economy rate determines the bowler’s effective performance in cricket. Indeed, it is an essential metric for a bowler’s ability to perform in limited-overs cricket. 

It would be interesting to know what is an economy rate and its importance in cricket. Also, you need to know the formula to calculate the economy in cricket for bowling.

Mainly, if you’re practising the art of bowling in cricket or want to gather more knowledge about bowling, you should know the best economy rate required in different formats.

Furthermore, analyzing the best economy rate of bowlers in three different formats of all time would be completely intriguing.

What is an Economy in cricket?

The economy rate is the statistical measure used to measure a bowler’s skill to limit the opposition rate. In other words, it is the number of runs a bowler concedes per over, thereby indicating the pressure maintained against the batting side.

To explain the concept in simpler words, a lower economy rate reflects exceptional bowling efforts whereas a higher rate indicates the incapability of a bowler for conceding runs.

What is the best economy rate a bowler should maintain?

As a bowler, your economy will be considered the best if you maintain the rate within the range of 2 to 3 in test cricket. On the other side, a good economy rate for white-ball cricket formats is between 4 and 5 in an ODI game and 6 to 7 in a T20I match.

How To Calculate Economy In Cricket? Formula and Best example to analyse a bowler’s economy rate

To calculate the Economy in cricket most simply, you need to use the below formula: 

ECONOMY RATE (ER) = (Runs Conceded ) / (Total Overs Bowled)

The above equation specifies that the economy rate can be calculated by dividing the runs conceded by the total overs bowled by a bowler. Also, you need to know that the number of wickets taken doesn’t alter the economy rate of a bowler.

Best Examples to Calculate the economy in cricket

Here are the best examples that can help you to calculate the Economy in cricket:

1. Per Match:

A bowler bowls 4 overs in a T20 game concedes 36 runs and took 2 wickets.

Bowling Economy Rate (ER) : (Runs Conceded ) / (Total Overs Bowled)

= (36) / (4)

= 9.0 runs per over

The above calculation indicates that the bowler’s economy rate has been ineffective in Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is).

Similarly, consider another example of a bowler who bowled 10 overs in an ODI match by conceding 50 runs and grabbing 3 wickets:

Bowling Economy Rate (ER): (Runs Conceded ) / (Total Overs Bowled)

= (50) / (10)

= 5.0 runs per over

The above calculation clarifies that the bowler has maintained a good economy rate in One Day Internationals (ODIs)

2. Overall Career:

Let us consider the example from any latest and popular tournament in cricket such as the ICC World Cup 2023.

Indian pace bowler Mohammed Shami was the leading wicket-taker of the 2023 World Cup. He played 7 matches and took 24 wickets in 48.5 overs by conceding 257 runs. In such scenarios, calculating the bowling economy rate of Shami in World Cup 2023 would be exciting as shown in the below procedure:

Bowling Economy Rate (ER) of Mohammed Shami in CWC 2023

(Runs Conceded ) / (Total Overs Bowled)

= (257) / (48.5)

= 5.29 runs per over

The above calculation makes clear that Mohammed Shami not only took more wickets but also maintained a good economy rate compared to other bowlers in the ODI World Cup 2023.

6 Best Economy Rates of Bowlers in Different Formats

Here are the top 6 best economy rates of bowlers in three different formats namely the Tests, ODIs and T20Is shown below as of 2024:


  1. William Attewell (England) – 1.31
  2. Clifford Gladwin (England) – 1.60
  3. Trevor Leslie Goddard (South Africa) – 1.64
  4. Rameshchandra Gangaram Nadkarni (India) – 1.67
  5. Herbert Ironmonger (Australia) – 1.69
  6. John Cecil Watkins (South Africa) – 1.74

One Day Internationals(ODIs)

  1. Joel Garner (West Indies) – 3.09
  2. MHN Walker (Australia) – 3.25
  3. M Hendrick (England) – 3.27
  4. Robert George Dylan Willis (England) – 3.28
  5. Sir RJ Hadlee (New Zealand) –3.30
  6. Michael Anthony Holding (West Indies) –3.32

Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is)

  1. Franco Nsubuga (Uganda) – 4.79
  2. Alpesh Ravilal Ramjani  – 4.93
  3. Vraj Patel (Kenya)– 5.08
  4. Peter Aho (Nigeria) – 5.20
  5. Merwe Gerhard Erasmus (Namibia)– 5.21

The Different Types of Fast Bowlers in Cricket

Why is it important to Calculate the economy in cricket? Overall Facts

Particularly in limited-overs cricket, the calculation of the economy rate holds great significance and creates an effective plan to make it challenging for batsmen to score runs.

By knowing how to calculate the economy in cricket, a bowler can analyse their strategies by restricting the run flow and compare their performances with other team bowlers.

Importantly, captains and coach can strategize their bowling plans and select bowlers with a lower economy rate. However, a bowler with a higher economy rate can still prove to be valuable if they consistently grab wickets at the crucial stages of the match.

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