New format leads to rethink June 17, 2009

Twenty20 leads to Duckworth-Lewis review

Cricinfo staff

A report in the Guardian claims that the Duckworth-Lewis system used in rain-affected matches will be reviewed in the coming months to take into account Twenty20 matches.

The Duckworth-Lewis method was introduced in 1997 after several failed attempts to come up with a way to make rain-affected one-day games more competitive. Since then, although there have been minor changes to the way run chases are calculated, no major overhaul has been undertaken. But the different needs of Twenty20 cricket means the time has come for a rethink.

"People have suggested that we need to look very carefully and see whether in fact the numbers in our formula are totally appropriate for the Twenty20 game," Frank Duckworth, one of the co-inventors, told the newspaper. "We thought it was appropriate to wait until the end of this competition when we've got a lot more Twenty20 data on our database.

"If there are any changes these should be ready for the commencement of the southern hemisphere season on 1 October." He added that if there were alterations, they were unlikely to make a significant difference to the calculations.

An ICC spokesman said it was "happy" with the Duckworth-Lewis system although it was always receptive to alternatives put forward by member boards. Duckworth and Tony Lewis are contracted by the ICC to do updates every few years - the last one was in 2006 - to reflect the changing nature of the game.

Although it has it critics, not least because of its complexity which often leaves crowds, and even commentators and players, bemused, few dispute that it a much better system than any that came before it.

There are alternatives, and the Indian Cricket League used a local system known as VJD. This was dismissed by Duckworth, who accused the inventor of trying to "give people what they feel is a fair answer" and of "fiddling his figures to do it".

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Kirk on June 18, 2009, 20:55 GMT

    I dont know what's wrong with these losers. The WI had 9 over to get half of England's 160 runs. There was no advantage under the circumstances. There were only 3 power play overs. If we were to consider any thing near fair. An evenly balanced system would have asked 160 in 10 overs. Thus from the start WI were the ones under pressure. It is beyond absurd that to even suggest that the WI should also do it with no more than 5 wickets (another half). I concur with the sentiments that when ECB and CA are on the winning side they defend the Duckworth method. India is reknown for its software industry. Maybe the best work around is to design a software that applies a 'sympathy calculation' when ECB or CA are the input variables, and default to a drawn match when the play together

  • Davis on June 18, 2009, 14:23 GMT

    If T20 was designed to get cricket popular where it isnt (North America & Europe) then the ECB & CA should stop changing/asking for review of the rules/regulations when decisions do not go in their favour. Let's face the fact the chasing 160 over the course of 20 overs requires a totally different approach than chasing 80 in 9 overs. I believe that the D/L target was reasonably fair althought it favoured the chasing team but England need to accept that we have no control over the elements and it could have affected any team. Many of the wickets that England took were due to poor shot selection by the West Indies Batsmen trying to get to 80runs required in about 4-5 overs; my point is that the number of wickets west indies lost should not be an issue. Let me be bold enough to make my June 21st predictions: WI vs Pakistan

  • Nadz on June 18, 2009, 11:10 GMT

    When you win D/L is fair when you lose you complain. It's simple as that. Losers always looks for excuses especially underperformers like England & NZ. No big title ever, no big player in last 20 years.(look for figures & numbers, honestly).

  • bryan on June 18, 2009, 10:59 GMT

    If the match had gone England way,we would not be reviewing D/L method.Get with England and Austraila fans.Law and regulations are laws and regulation.They are meant to be ammended but not to the ECB and CA liking.

  • Tom on June 18, 2009, 10:10 GMT

    I am not even sure that the revised target was correctly calculated. When I type 161 over 20 overs into the D/L calculator on their website, the target required to win after 9 overs is given as 84. Could the ICC/match referee perhaps have messed up? not for the first time ....

  • don on June 18, 2009, 9:13 GMT

    Come on. Duckworth Lewis is fine save the wicket imbalance- Obvious and indisputable. The number of wickets, irrespective of how many overs, should be adjusted in a format relevant to runs required compared to total of team batting first. For example : Windies needed less than half England's runs so should have had four or five wickets only. How can half the runs be chased with the same number or wickets? Currently every team batting first is under a huge disadvantage as results show.

  • Mohamed on June 18, 2009, 5:55 GMT

    Usingthe DL method, Eng had to score an easy 135 to win in 20 in a 50 over ODI earlier this year in the WI. No one complained about Duckworth Lewis then. Why now? I am tired of the disrespct that is shown to us in the non-white countries. I am sorry, but that is true. Look at the NZ capt. recently going to the umpire and asking to check on Umar Gul -all because NZ could not play spin. It's the same BS.. change the rules if you can't beat them. Call them for chucking. Pietersen switch hits and it's okay, but the bowler cannot switch from over to around. Isn't that unfair? The rules on bouncers were changed because the WI quartet were destroying everybody back in the late70's, 80's and so on. Fact is, WI would have approached the full target over 20 overs differently. Everyone knows that but the Eng just can't accept it. Look we the WI beat you all in the WI for the Stanford Millions. Just accept taht weare better than you. Don't let that fake series fool you all.

  • Andy on June 18, 2009, 3:18 GMT

    Duckworth Lewis has been pretty good over the years but it's shocking that it has patently not yet been updated to accommodate T20. My other issue with it is that it just isn't transparent. Why doesn't Cricinfo show the par score on its live scorecards, and offer the calculation table to cricket fans around the world? Maybe then everyone might trust it a bit more.

  • Monty on June 18, 2009, 2:31 GMT

    When will England fans wake up and smell the cricket coffee? England is not really a strong Twenty20 team. The fact that England just defeated West Indies in their own backyard in tests and ODIs does not logically mean that they would have defeated them in the semi-final if the game had run for the full twenty overs. Please remember that it was the same WI team that defeated England at home earlier this year!! Remember as well that an associate team, the Netherlands, defeated England in the earlier part of the competition. DL or not, England would have lost because of bad decision making on the day. Don't blame DL this time. The reality is that England did not bat that well in the middle overs. There's where they lost the match. Accept it and move on.

  • Marissa on June 17, 2009, 23:11 GMT

    i agree pycon and i agree with you especially stiab and all of you have several valid points but i said it before and i'm going to say it again i think many of you here are using this issue over D/L trying to downplay the Windies' victory. yes the system does need reviewing but i think 80 off 9 overs was reasonable and defendable as England started to show. 160 ish on the other hand is not defendable at the oval as we have seen before in previous games

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