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".

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