Ethics and morality May 5, 2010

# Lies, damned lies, and Duckworth Lewis

Was Paul Collingwood right to question the target set for West Indies by the Duckworth Lewis Method
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Was Paul Collingwood right to question the target set for West Indies by the Duckworth Lewis Method? I believe he was right, and it was disappointing that Frank Duckworth dismissed his concerns so readily. Statisticians, and I work with many, have their preferred methods but the best statisticians will always accept that each method has its flaws. Show me a statistician whose first answer to a statistical question is 'it depends . . .' and I'll show you a statistician with wisdom.

Here's why Collingwood has three arguments in his favour:

1 The statistical argument: The higher number of data points available, the more reliable any statistical estimate. With only 14 balls bowled by England before the rain set in, the sample was too small to reliably estimate the trajectory of the West Indian innings. Duckworth's argument that those fourteen balls dictated the target exposes the unsuitability of the Duckworth Lewis Method when only a small proportion of an innings, around 10% in this case, has been completed. In this circumstance, there are insufficient data points (balls bowled) to reasonably predict the trajectory of an innings.

A fairer approach would be to set a minimum number of overs before wickets lost are taken into consideration. For example, if that minimum number of overs in T20 were 5 overs (ie 25% of the innings completed), the wickets West Indies had lost in those 14 balls would be irrelevant. The target set would assume that no balls had been bowled. The West Indian target should then have been higher. After 5 overs, and only after 5 overs, the runs already scored and wickets already lost would be taken into account. A more suitable minimum number of overs might in fact be 8 or 10 overs.

The alternative would be to increase the weighting in favour of the side batting first in these circumstances.

2 The spirit of cricket argument: Anybody who has played cricket at any level knows that it is much easier to score around ten runs an over for 6 overs than it is for 20 overs, especially when 10 wickets are available in both situations. It is wrong for Duckworth to suggest otherwise. When the target set by the Duckworth Lewis Method feels wrong and against the spirit of the game, then the numbers thrown up by a stastical analytics package are irrelevant.

3 The regulatory argument: The pressure for a resolution by the Duckworth Lewis Method is created by limits on playing times. In major T20 tournaments, often staged at facilities with floodlights, these regulations seem absurd. Half an hour's extra play is clearly insufficient. The option of an extra hour, at the very least, is essential. I'm confident most specatators would prefer to stay an extra hour or so to watch a proper contest than witness a farce that allows them to get home earlier.

I believe the ICC needs to act and reconsider the application of the Duckworth Lewis Method in T20 cricket. What happened to England earlier this week was unfair for several reasons. Collingwood had a point, Duckworth had a Vera moment.

Note: I edited this article on 6th May to clarify the issue of what is currently considered when a revised target is set. Duckworth Lewis takes into account the overs lost and the wickets lost at the time of interruption and not the runs scored--that's a whole other issue of potential unfairness (thanks to Cricinfo's S Rajesh for clarifying this point).

Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He tweets here

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• lagers on May 11, 2010, 20:36 GMT

what is the minium overs which have to be bowled in a 20/20 game in order a result may be declared?

• Badar Muneer Khan Baigal on May 9, 2010, 18:26 GMT

i think unfortunately in Pakistan's squad not a single player is in his best form. As the Salman But is concerned he has done well but he has not the ability to finish the match in a heroic way. The momentum that is necessary for this format of the game has not been developed in Pak Players this time. Their body language was highly negative. Its not a bad thing to lost the match if you have lost it after hard fight. Although these thing are small but they are necessary for a team for their long term goals. I think Pak player should always be positive and they should play a positive game. Instead of regretting over missing of core player, the pak team management and team should have focused on the available given players and using them rightly. Unless corruption will be there in pak cricket team, they will never gonna show something special with consistency. Pakistan Payinda Baad..tum jito ya haro..we will always proud of you..

• desihungama on May 7, 2010, 15:54 GMT

What happened to the it ain't over until the fat lady sings? If one team or another cannot bat out due to unforseen circumstances (rain, in this case) then teams should be awarded a point each.

• Anthony Felix on May 7, 2010, 15:15 GMT

Excellent article Kamran Abbasi! My only complaint is that you have exposed the problems with the DL system, but you have not offered a viable solution. But therein lies the real problem. We would never have a perfect solution for a game that is interrupted by inclement weather, especially in this abbreviated format. There will always, I empahasize, always be critics of whatever system is in place. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. Paul Colinwood should just suck it up and move on. I have a feeling if the shoe was on the other foot, we would not have heard any whining for the England camp.

• Mark TC on May 7, 2010, 5:54 GMT

Good points mentioned in the article. In my view, a t20 match should consist of a minimum of 10 overs. Anything less is a joke. The D/L method does not work due to the T20 matches being slower at the start and a rush at the end. It is imbalanced. There needs to be a think tank about how to resolve this problem.

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• lagers on May 11, 2010, 20:36 GMT

what is the minium overs which have to be bowled in a 20/20 game in order a result may be declared?

• Badar Muneer Khan Baigal on May 9, 2010, 18:26 GMT

i think unfortunately in Pakistan's squad not a single player is in his best form. As the Salman But is concerned he has done well but he has not the ability to finish the match in a heroic way. The momentum that is necessary for this format of the game has not been developed in Pak Players this time. Their body language was highly negative. Its not a bad thing to lost the match if you have lost it after hard fight. Although these thing are small but they are necessary for a team for their long term goals. I think Pak player should always be positive and they should play a positive game. Instead of regretting over missing of core player, the pak team management and team should have focused on the available given players and using them rightly. Unless corruption will be there in pak cricket team, they will never gonna show something special with consistency. Pakistan Payinda Baad..tum jito ya haro..we will always proud of you..

• desihungama on May 7, 2010, 15:54 GMT

What happened to the it ain't over until the fat lady sings? If one team or another cannot bat out due to unforseen circumstances (rain, in this case) then teams should be awarded a point each.

• Anthony Felix on May 7, 2010, 15:15 GMT

Excellent article Kamran Abbasi! My only complaint is that you have exposed the problems with the DL system, but you have not offered a viable solution. But therein lies the real problem. We would never have a perfect solution for a game that is interrupted by inclement weather, especially in this abbreviated format. There will always, I empahasize, always be critics of whatever system is in place. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. Paul Colinwood should just suck it up and move on. I have a feeling if the shoe was on the other foot, we would not have heard any whining for the England camp.

• Mark TC on May 7, 2010, 5:54 GMT

Good points mentioned in the article. In my view, a t20 match should consist of a minimum of 10 overs. Anything less is a joke. The D/L method does not work due to the T20 matches being slower at the start and a rush at the end. It is imbalanced. There needs to be a think tank about how to resolve this problem.

• Dubby on May 7, 2010, 3:52 GMT

OK so D/L is useless. As someone has pointed out a rule is a rule and it's no use whining when it goes against you. Did England complain in 1992 when, thanks to Richie Benaud's ridiculous rain rule, SA`were left to get 22 runs off one ball?

D/L for one dayers is being continuously calibrated as the database increases. The same will happen here.

While on the subject of ridiculous rules, I agree with the post on th free hits, why does a T20 have to have a result in the league phase. If teams are tied - split the points. In a knockout phase there has to be a reult as only one team goes through. Do we see extra time or a penalty shootout in any league football or hockey match?

• jay on May 7, 2010, 2:27 GMT

you pay to see 40 overs and that is what i expected,i will seek a refund

• Subbu on May 6, 2010, 22:41 GMT

I think when it comes to d/l it should be a moving target. for e.g. if west indies will have to score 60 runs of 5 overs, then once the match resumes they score 2 runs of the next over and lose a wicket at that time their target should move up and this gives the bowling team a better chance. All these movements should be given to the batting team too which puts more pressure on them and makes the game evenly poised. Otherwise 60 runs of five overs is just ridiculous for a target of 191.

• Umar Riaz on May 6, 2010, 20:18 GMT

Another rule that I hate most after D/L method is the free hit rule. The penalty for bowling a no ball is 1. One extra run, 2. One extra ball, 3. Two balls in which you can get out but score runs (even take byes if you are bowled). 4. You cant even change the field for that extra ball. That is killing. You bowl couple of no balls and you are out of the game. That is totally ridiculous. Genuine Fast bowlers tends to bowl some no balls. Again look like ICC dont want to promote competitive cricket. They want more of a bingo....

• Umar Riaz on May 6, 2010, 20:01 GMT

The T20 game is short enough already and there is no need to shorten it further. I think T20 game must complete its full 20 overs in each inning. No other sport (like soccer, hockey or tennis) is reduced and decided by a rule like that. There should be enough time in backup to finish up the game or it should continue to the next day like all other sports. 5 or 6 over cricket that too decided by D/L method is not a sport. Maybe cricket is not a sport anymore, ICC & IPL made it a bingo.

• Shahid on May 6, 2010, 19:32 GMT

1) A journalist doesn't need to find a specific answer to a question. Raising a question, a problem or unfairness is in itself a great article to write.

2) Your words, "how was it unfair? Those are the rules at this present time. Until the rules are changed it is fair." Yes legally its fair until rules are changed BUT rules can have unfairness in them too and its this unfairness in D/L rules which Mr. Abbasi is pointing to. Should I give u an example. Here in Denmark its unlawfull to carry a knife having a sharp blade of more than 4 inches. Now police cought a boy who works for a carpet company and visits privat customers to fix their carpets using his tools including a carpet cutting knife. One day when he left his job with his tools (including knife), police caught him with that knife in his car. Verdict in court is 6 days behind bars. The Judge says he had to punish the boy as its the law which had left no exemptions.lol .......so what u think dum ass

• Shahid, Lahore on May 6, 2010, 19:11 GMT

SOLUTION 1 The fairest solution in shortend matches would be if D/L method is modified in a way where the team batting second (in the case of England match in question) gets 5 overs to score 60 runs with only say 3 wickets to lose. As long as they lose 4th wicket or fail to score 60 with lessers then 3 lost wickets, they lose the match.

This will cover that spirit of cricket argument. Having 11 wickets in hand and 5 overs to bat, every one is going to hit blindely without risking losing by loss of wickets. So you put the same type of pressure on batsmen where they have to score fast and secure wickets too.

• MARLO, Copenhagen on May 6, 2010, 16:56 GMT

Guess what afridi is gonna say in post match presentation... We were 20 runs short.... But how can he save the shame which they must suffer for the poor bowlling and fielding, not to say the batting. If i was there, I had borrowed some bangles from womens team to present to these losers for the fielding display they presented match after match, day after day. Now one likes to put effort for running hard and diving, no one can catch. Afridi is one of those hyped players who only perform once a year. No batting no bowlling no fielding. At least in two departments, fielding and bowlling, Afghanistan is much much better than them. I don't mind losing But to see them as the laziest team in the tournament it hurts. For God sake let Razaq open the innings, you cant expect him to come in 17th over and fire sixes. Afridi you are worthless and I can understand ur liking for Hafiz as both of u are of the same.

• Boy Genius on May 6, 2010, 16:38 GMT

Rauf, give Colly a break; D/L didn't come into play against Ireland (3.3 overs were completed)...it all boiled down to NRR! That said, I've always had a bad feeling this would suffice...cracking up 10 wickets over 6 overs? These guys have to be for real!

• wizman on May 6, 2010, 15:58 GMT

Well England were 0/24 off 2.2 overs, and 0/30 from 3, and went on to be 1/60 off 6. Who is to say the WI target wasn't adequate?

• Sajjo on May 6, 2010, 15:26 GMT

collingwood and england are only comlaining because we (west indies) beat them just like we did in the world cup last year.. last year we were set 82 in 9 overs after england made only 160. when we were struggling at 45-5 in 5 overs england were celebrating because they thought they had won the match.. but when sarwan and chanderpaul came through and won the match, england started to complain.. england are the most fickle team and complain about everything!

• Kool Kat on May 6, 2010, 14:23 GMT

D/L in a T20 is total farce. Statistics apart, a 5 over target presents a unique risk-taking opportunity. Where is the common sense behind D/L in the T20 format.

• zaphyr on May 6, 2010, 12:24 GMT

D/L = DONKEY/LAW. Players, commentators, viewers, readers are all of the same view, then I think this D/L should be ammended. D/L was introduced when 20/20 was not officially announced . it did work with one dayers but with 20/20 it cannot be the same. AND this D/L is not at all in parallel with Bible and/or QURAN that it being the word of the supreme LORD and it can never be ammended for the betterment of cricket.

• Rauf on May 6, 2010, 11:40 GMT

Collingwood is just a sour looser and a hypocrite. He did not complain about D/L against Ireland and before that against SA in Johanessburg because England came out as a winner. I will agree with him 100% if he gives back the super 8 spot to Ireland as they would have won in the absence of rain.

• Gulab on May 6, 2010, 9:34 GMT

To Mr Shahid: You should try to win on our own part. If our team lost with a big margin and his inability to catch or out Watson and Hussy then why we should suspect the professional team players. Why we alleged the players of other team if they are not producing results as we wish. We should try to improve our situation we should think like this that if Bangladesh can restrict the Australian to 142 and we cannot than Bangladesh is better than us and they should proceeds. We should not start to talk about the dishonesty of the other team member. I hope you have seen the Bangladesh team fileding and playing style and you will have definitly compared it with our senseless players. It was not the fault of Watson that he got out and smile it was just the brilliance of Bangladeshi players that they made him out. Also in our match with australia if we hold the two catches then there would be differnet situation. Shame on us as players as we cannot play and as a nation as we do not think.

• Jawed Saleem on May 6, 2010, 9:28 GMT

FARCE – RIDICULOUS !

Yes, I agree - present D/L method does not cater for most of the eventualities esp. in T20 format. D/L ( in T20 format ) is still in evolutionary stage and requires more data ! Existing D/L favours the side batting 2nd and adv. info. reg. possibility of rain becomes an “advantage”. Its workable in 50 over format (and far better than earlier version of early 90s). Best option is to wait and play out all 20 overs ( use flood lights and/or assign additional day ).

Jawed, Karachi

• avc on May 6, 2010, 8:39 GMT

How would he have reacted if the decision would have favoured him under the same conditions? Winner or looser should be clearly decided only if the game is played to completion. Else, award euqual points to each of the teams.

• Dr. Mubahir Hanif on May 6, 2010, 8:26 GMT

Assalamoalikum! kami bhai!I am not a statistics expert, but I am still enjoying cricket at all levels. if i remember right, most of the times DWL has favoured one team or the other. I think if just define a minimum number fo overs bowled to conclude a match, and then can have run rate with or with out number of wickets taken/fallen. Its much mroe simpler than this "sick" DWL system. If my team scored 191 in 20 overs, I will be quie secure and I think if it rains and the match is reduced based on time loss, the average (runs per over) or if it can not be concluded, then a bowl out. And if it can not be bowled out then a tie. Like I mentioned I am not a statistics expert but I remember many a times "un just" victories to weaker performers on that very day. peace

• H.Malik on May 6, 2010, 6:23 GMT

Mr tight liped , Mr Moaner when suited him for 2 times cursing the rules under which he & his team had agreed to play , was all smiles and all rules were right the 3rd time over , when his side was delclared the winner " scrapped thorugh with the Wash Out " under the ver same rules . The Rules are The Rules under which You agree to play , if you do not want to play because the rules are "not fair & go against you " then Mr Up Right , Muts have courage to put his hand up and declare " No Play under these rules " BUT he or his great monaers friends who ever they may be , WIll Nver conjure up that Spirit and that Courage because the temptations of Thousandsa of Dollars worht the money , will never allow him & them to be just Mr Up right ..... Come on You cowards eihter play and win or loose under the governing rules OR KEEP YOUR BIG MOUTH SHUT when you Loose ........You Big B.. B .. S ...

• asic on May 6, 2010, 5:26 GMT

i think within the 14 balls, if the number of wickets available is reduced from 10, then it makes sense.

• Nathan on May 6, 2010, 3:44 GMT

I think there needs to be a minimum of 10 overs bowled to make a legitimate 20-20 match, and D/L needs to be tweaked for this form of the game.

I like D/L for ODIs though ... I note with interest that no one who is complaining about it is offering a better solution.

And Shahid ... you are an idiot. If Watson walked off angry and scowling you'd bag him for being a bad sport, but he walks off with a smile so you conclude he must be a match fixer. It's unfathomable to me that someone would make such a repugnant accuation on the basis of one facial expression.

• Gary on May 6, 2010, 3:07 GMT

Hey Shahid, always best to wait until AFTER the game to lodge match-fixing allegations hahaha..... flog

• Alf on May 6, 2010, 3:04 GMT

Most of the folks having a dig at Collingwood (such as Navin84, Irshad Shirazi etc.) don't even know the facts when they compare WI Vs Eng game to Eng Vs Ire.

Folks, D/L method was used only in WI Vs Eng game. Eng Vs Ire game was ABANDONED due to rain and D/L didn't have anything to do with it. At least have the sense to compare apples to apples for crying out loud.

@Mian Gul Muhammed, D/L method was not in use in 1992.

• Tony on May 6, 2010, 2:53 GMT

Spot on article. 2.2 overs just not enough to establish a prediction for the WI innings. And by the way , Ireland did not "lose the match on DL" - it was abandoned as a no-result, after which England (rightly)progressed on superior run rate.

• Tom on May 6, 2010, 1:10 GMT

When rain is likely captains seem to want to bat second. This alone implies that the DL method favours the side batting second in T20.

For those who are attacking the England captain Gayle said he agreed with Collingwood.

• Navin84 on May 6, 2010, 0:52 GMT

Any captain would complain once they lost a game like this. He is not the first to do so. If England had lost, you would not even hear the words "duckworth/lewis". Why he didn't complain when the won against Ireland, it went in their hands then, if it wasn't for the rain, Ireland would have won.

• Jeff on May 6, 2010, 0:06 GMT

D/L method for a 20/20 is absolute crap, nothing wrong with Colli Q's, in the event of heavy rain should one decide with a super over or call it Abandon giving equal points...

• VJ on May 5, 2010, 21:08 GMT

Agree whole-heartedly with RD (& growltiger). A target of around 75 seems a lot fairer. Taking Kamran's point of "at least 5 overs for statistical significance" along with RD's point around fairness, how about focussing on only how many runs/overs/wickets are left? i.e. in this case scoring the remaining 161 in 17.4 overs at 9.1 per over feels about as difficult as scoring around 47 more in the remaining 3.4 overs at 12.8 an over. For 20/20 it seems like not using the performance till now and focussing only on what's requred/left produces a fairer target. Performance till now automatically gets incorporated in the what's left target (e.g. had WI scored only 20 in 2.2 overs they would require 171 from 17.4 overs which would mean a revised target of around 51-53 in 3.4 overs).

Overall, Collingwood is definitely justified in questioning the target and Duckworth's defence doesn't answer the fairness question well.

• Miss Paul on May 5, 2010, 20:41 GMT

Accept defeat already Colly! If it were the other way around i am pretty sure we would not have heard any comments from Collingwood. I hope England complains if they win because the D/L method was applied. it makes no sense complain about something if u cannot propose a means by which the problem should be solved. Suck it up fellas!!!

• SM on May 5, 2010, 20:15 GMT

I think the best resolution of the 20/20 v. Duckworth-Lewis problem would be, as I have read elsewhere, that the side batting second faces the sum of the best consecutive overs scored by the side batting first; so if a game is reduced to 6 overs, then in most cases the target would be the runs scored between overs 14-20. One distinct advantage with this system? It looks like the target is related to the first innings, not some arbitrary math equation! And also, it confirms that the second innings has to exceed the best of the first to win...which is the point of the game, no?

• Ahsan on May 5, 2010, 19:48 GMT

Finally someone in the media criticises D/L method. Looks like everyone else is just too afraid to speak about them. Even ICC seem to be licking the toes of D and L. Rubbish method. Absolutely crap

• growltiger on May 5, 2010, 19:19 GMT

RD has got it exactly right. The objective of the D/L system is supposed to be to produce a fair match after the interruption. That has to mean the odds afterwards are as near as possible the same as just before it happened. Subjectively, asking the West Indies to make 75 feels about right (roughly a 25% chance of getting there, just like the chance of making 192). How they started (with complete knowledge it was going to rain in 5 minutes, so let's hurry up) doesn't enter into it. Frank Duckworth seems not to understand this. It is nothing to do with statistical goodness of fit, and everything to do with preserving the antecedent odds.

• Hassan Farooqi on May 5, 2010, 19:11 GMT

Duckworth-Lewis in T20 is a stupid idea to start with. If the match starts at 9am, you have whole day to complete it. If it happens late night, you can do it next day. If not possible, call it a draw. See what happens in soccer.

• khalil on May 5, 2010, 18:43 GMT

One wonders why there isn,t a simpler method than Duckworth Lewis ,to solve incomplete matches. Why DL method is imposed upon,when most of the people know its shortcomings. Collingwood or Clarke can question the efficacy or inefficacy of the system by virtue of some sort of entitlement to do so. but I doubt it that if this objection was raised by an asian player,he would have escaped at least a ban for few matches. It is ICC,s inability to enforce a fairer system in the game.

• Mian Gul Muhammed on May 5, 2010, 18:37 GMT

I personaly think in 20/20, a match should be by decided by a super over if result is absolutely required i.e. at knock out stage, otherwise it should be abandoned and equal points awarded to both teams. We have seen the dark side of this method quite a few times in the past like in 1992 when South Africa needed 22 from one ball and as a result they were out of the competition. It is about time that ICC comes up with a more realistic approach which is fairer to all.

• Shahid on May 5, 2010, 17:56 GMT

I was just watching Aus batting against their match against BD. As soon as I saw Watson got out, on way back to pavilion as he passes by warner on the other end, I saw a very strange smile on his face. It brought me to write this comment as I sense that there is something fishy in this match. I think its fixed

• RD on May 5, 2010, 17:02 GMT

Your are correct. 192 in 20 overs is 9.6 rpo. That is changed to 66 in 6 overs (assuming rain was in the interval), which 11 rpo. Ask any captain, do they prefer to maintain a run rate of 9.6 for 20 overs, or a run rate of 11 for 6 overs, with 10 wickets in both cases? Here, the choice is obvious. The whole point of any method is that the difficulty of the original and revised targets should be roughly the same (nothing is exact). If the asking rate is around 13 for 6 overs (target score around 78), that might make you think twice. THAT choice is not obvious, which means that it is fair to both sides: the original and revised targets have the same difficulty, and the same probability of success. You might have 1 in 4 chance of scoring 192 in 20 overs, and about 1 in 4 of scoring 75-78 in 6 overs. It is an easy adjustment to the formula, once you admit the flaw.

• Irshad Shirazi on May 5, 2010, 16:56 GMT

I don't hear Mr Collingwood complaining about the result after the rain god, Jupiter Pluvius, intervened and got England through to the Super Eight at Ireland's expense. You can't have the cake and eat it too, Mr Collingwood. The fact is that you were outplayed by Ireland and had it not been for the weather and the match being abandoned, you would be at the airport right now, waiting to board a flight to Heathrow.

• bonaku on May 5, 2010, 16:48 GMT

Not sure what VJD method would say. Is there some thing I am missing?

• love goel on May 5, 2010, 16:06 GMT

A 5 over 20/20 match is a farce. Even in ODI you need a minimum of 40% of overs(20 overs) so why not in 20/20 when it is already a shortened format? 5 overs for 11 players to showcase their skills? 1 over for warne/mc grath to display their talent? It is ridiculous.

DL will certainly improve once more matches have been played. But yes you can not predict a trajectory based on 15 balls. 1 shot is all that matters between victory and defeat. Not fair on either side. The system needs to be balanced.

• Josh on May 5, 2010, 16:00 GMT

Great article and wonderful points. I also want to say that it was really sad to watch Ireland loose the match with this method.

• Lawrie Thornton on May 5, 2010, 15:39 GMT

The real culprits are the organisers, arranging six matches in Guyana( only two completed without d/l) - known for its bad weather. Why aren't any matches planned for Grenada where there is a brilliant ground and a more stable climate?

• Michael on May 5, 2010, 15:19 GMT

Cool story bro.

• Indar Singh on May 5, 2010, 15:10 GMT

Agreed with the article in principle but how was it unfair? Those are the rules at this present time. Until the rules are changed it is fair. Secondly, what would then be the target based on what you are proposing? It didnot appear that you know because you would have said it. So let us know because we are interested.

• Arsalan on May 5, 2010, 14:28 GMT

Absolutely bang on. One of the beauties of cricket is that it is highly unpredictable and a rigid statistical method just wont work unless they add this factor into it.

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• Arsalan on May 5, 2010, 14:28 GMT

Absolutely bang on. One of the beauties of cricket is that it is highly unpredictable and a rigid statistical method just wont work unless they add this factor into it.

• Indar Singh on May 5, 2010, 15:10 GMT

Agreed with the article in principle but how was it unfair? Those are the rules at this present time. Until the rules are changed it is fair. Secondly, what would then be the target based on what you are proposing? It didnot appear that you know because you would have said it. So let us know because we are interested.

• Michael on May 5, 2010, 15:19 GMT

Cool story bro.

• Lawrie Thornton on May 5, 2010, 15:39 GMT

The real culprits are the organisers, arranging six matches in Guyana( only two completed without d/l) - known for its bad weather. Why aren't any matches planned for Grenada where there is a brilliant ground and a more stable climate?

• Josh on May 5, 2010, 16:00 GMT

Great article and wonderful points. I also want to say that it was really sad to watch Ireland loose the match with this method.

• love goel on May 5, 2010, 16:06 GMT

A 5 over 20/20 match is a farce. Even in ODI you need a minimum of 40% of overs(20 overs) so why not in 20/20 when it is already a shortened format? 5 overs for 11 players to showcase their skills? 1 over for warne/mc grath to display their talent? It is ridiculous.

DL will certainly improve once more matches have been played. But yes you can not predict a trajectory based on 15 balls. 1 shot is all that matters between victory and defeat. Not fair on either side. The system needs to be balanced.

• bonaku on May 5, 2010, 16:48 GMT

Not sure what VJD method would say. Is there some thing I am missing?

• Irshad Shirazi on May 5, 2010, 16:56 GMT

I don't hear Mr Collingwood complaining about the result after the rain god, Jupiter Pluvius, intervened and got England through to the Super Eight at Ireland's expense. You can't have the cake and eat it too, Mr Collingwood. The fact is that you were outplayed by Ireland and had it not been for the weather and the match being abandoned, you would be at the airport right now, waiting to board a flight to Heathrow.

• RD on May 5, 2010, 17:02 GMT

Your are correct. 192 in 20 overs is 9.6 rpo. That is changed to 66 in 6 overs (assuming rain was in the interval), which 11 rpo. Ask any captain, do they prefer to maintain a run rate of 9.6 for 20 overs, or a run rate of 11 for 6 overs, with 10 wickets in both cases? Here, the choice is obvious. The whole point of any method is that the difficulty of the original and revised targets should be roughly the same (nothing is exact). If the asking rate is around 13 for 6 overs (target score around 78), that might make you think twice. THAT choice is not obvious, which means that it is fair to both sides: the original and revised targets have the same difficulty, and the same probability of success. You might have 1 in 4 chance of scoring 192 in 20 overs, and about 1 in 4 of scoring 75-78 in 6 overs. It is an easy adjustment to the formula, once you admit the flaw.

• Shahid on May 5, 2010, 17:56 GMT

I was just watching Aus batting against their match against BD. As soon as I saw Watson got out, on way back to pavilion as he passes by warner on the other end, I saw a very strange smile on his face. It brought me to write this comment as I sense that there is something fishy in this match. I think its fixed