A stat padder is a derogatory terminology used for players in team sports. These are players who play in order to improve their personal statistics and are less inclined towards the team’s gain. Stat padding is often detrimental from a team’s point of view. It is a highly sensitive and subjective matter to tag a player as a stat padder.
In cricket, stat padding is used for batters who modify their style of play for personal statistical gains irrespective of the team’s position in the match. Even though there is no definitive list, some common scenarios of stat padding are listed below.
A batter can intentionally play defensive and try to remain not out in order to increase their career average. In the process of being defensive, the batter compromises the team’s scoring rate. This can turn out to be even more fatal when the team is chasing a target. T20 is the more pronounced form of cricket today.
When batters pile up dot balls, then it can reduce a significant total from the original projected score.
Another form of stat padding involves the batter taking more strike than the non-batter. By doing so the batter can manipulate their own strike rate in their favour.
Stat padding by bowlers is rare compared to batters. While batters can pile up runs for their personal advantage, bowlers cannot necessarily rake up wickets without their shear skill.
Stat padders are usually announced by followers of the sport. Not every player that is called a stat padder is unanimously dubbed as one.