The Duckworth-Lewis method June 12, 2010

Duckworth and Lewis honoured with MBE

Cricinfo staff

Frank Duckworth and Tony Lewis, the inventors of what is widely regarded as the best available system to set revised targets in shortened limited-overs games, have been awarded the MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire).

The Duckworth-Lewis method was first used in international cricket in 1997 and formally adopted by the ICC as the standard method for setting revised targets in truncated games in 2001. The complicated method, which also rewards the fielding side for taking wickets, has been a subject of controversy, most recently in the World Twenty20. Paul Collingwood, the England captain, complained of the revised target - 60 in six overs - set for West Indies after a rain delay as undermining a strong performance with the bat from his own team, which posted 191.

There have been instances of teams miscalculating their revised targets, most famously in Durban during the 2003 World Cup when South Africa fatally erred, thinking they had secured a win when Mark Boucher hit a six off Muttiah Muralitharan. In fact they had only levelled the revised score at that stage before rain intervened, leading to their exit from the tournament.

The method, however, has survived the test of time and the pair responsible for its creation was thrilled its contribution had been recognised. "I hope this award demonstrates to the outside world that the country believes we have made a useful contribution to the game - a lot of people haven't actually realised we are actual people," Duckworth said.

Lewis added: "I was thrilled to get the news and it's very satisfying that our solution to the rain-interruption problem on one-day cricket has been recognised in this way."

The system has also made its way into pop culture, with a band and its album of cricket songs going by the name 'The Duckworth-Lewis method.'

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Pelham on June 14, 2010, 16:50 GMT

    @howizzat: Consider the following case - and I could easily have made it much more extreme. Team1 bats for its full 50 overs and scores 235. There is then a rain break which is just long enough to use up all the slack time plus a further 3 minutes. Under current regulations, Team2 would go in to bat for 49 overs, with a target (on D/L standard) of 232 to tie, 233 to win. Are you seriously suggesting that it would be better for the game if, in those circumstances, the whole match had to be restarted and plyaed as a 23-overs a side match? (It would have to be 23 overs to allow for an innings break in the restarted match.)

  • Powderdubdub on June 14, 2010, 12:35 GMT

    'The Duckworth-Lewis method.' has been a controversial method from day one, it has NOT provided any reasonable solution to the rain-interruption problem on one-day cricket. The only reason it has survived because the ICC 'looked after' it.One of the two teams involved in the Duckworth-Lewis method had always found it UNFAIR and quitely complained about it, so how these two guyes deserve an MBE? beats me jackson!!

  • laxman on June 14, 2010, 12:35 GMT

    N o geat complexities are required to decide the rain affected matches. Its a game and hence need a practical approach with need to provide level playing field. So like a layman place some ground rules.1. Abandon the proceedings till the stoppage till the rains and start the day afresh with e available time. 2.Set a minimum of SIX OVERS a side for a T20 game and a minimum of 12 OVERS a side for a ODI to complete the game. 3. Number of overs can be increased accordingly with the time available. 4. Allow FULL POWERPLAY for the games less than 10 overs in T20 and less than20 overs in ODI. 5. At the same time allow bowlers to bowk more with a simple condition that a minimum of 3 bowlers should be used in T20 and a minimum of 4 bowlers in ODI.

  • Pelham on June 14, 2010, 11:50 GMT

    @BionicBowler: If the minimum requirements for the match in question had been 8 overs, with the same time limits allowed, the match would not have been resumed, and it would been a "no result" match. For anyone who still thinks that the eventual target of 60 was too easy for the West Indies, note that WI conceded only 5 runs in no-balls and wides in 20 overs, while England conceded 8 runs in wides in 6 overs. Reduce England's contribution to 2 wides (as near as one can get to the WI figure of one run per 4 overs), and making the strong assumption that the scoring pattern from the other balls would have been unchanged, and WI would have needed six off the last ball (that was not needed in the match as it took place).

  • laxman on June 14, 2010, 4:31 GMT

    Some people here rightly commented that "is it worth an award". For me its enedemic, as an english body is awarding the fellow countrymen. Whether its T20 or ODI, its crystal clear that D/L method does not provide level playing field for both teams.

  • puneet on June 13, 2010, 18:59 GMT

    Many people criticise Duckworth & Lewis method & from a layman's point of view it is worth criticising also but thinking from an overall perspective this method is worth having otherwise most rain affected matches will be result less. The most important thing is that academicians of Oxford are involved with cricket. This must increase as the academic wealth of these institutions will definitely help the game in the long run. Alternatively, cricket should also become a matter of research especially in the field of mathematics & statistics as no other sport throws so much stats after every match to analyse. For instance, we can have a new method say XY method which can mathematically calculate what is the match winning score on a particular ground against the opposition taking into consideration various factors like present form of the players, past statistics of the ground & so on. Also efforts should be made to improve upon the already existing DL method for rain affected matches.

  • SWAMINATHAN on June 13, 2010, 13:59 GMT

    The V.Jayadevan method (popularly V.J.D method) used in domestic matches in India is a more practical method ... but Messrs. Duckworth & Lewis (maybe due to their status as Oxbridge dons) have been favoured by the ICC ...

  • Adnan on June 13, 2010, 9:06 GMT

    I agree with u D.S.A. If the rule is different for the other teams regarding the DL method then an arguement can be raised but the same policy is in place for everyone. If on that day England were chasing 60 of six overs then they wouldn't have been complaining instead would have said luck was on our side or the better team won. England's bowlers couldn't defend the score and they lost and have to face it and move on.

  • David on June 12, 2010, 23:45 GMT

    @mrhas11 and @D.S.A thanks for your comments. The fact is that Paul Collingwood and Chris Gale BOTH felt the requirement was wrong for WI reply to 191 for 5 in THAT T20 game :-) The problem arose because ICC adopted inconsistent proportions for this tournament. How? The D/L calculations are sound but the assumption for an ODI match is that 40% of the game must have been played (i.e. 20 overs per side) to constitute a 'match' . However, they allowed a minimum of 5 overs in reply (i.e. only 25% of overs per side) in this T20 tournament to constitute a 'match' when it should have been 8 overs per side minimum (40%). If the 40% rule had stood, WI would have narrowly lost, so the ones to blame are the ICC, not Paul Collingwood of England, West Indies or D/L.

  • Dummy4 on June 12, 2010, 22:21 GMT

    no calculation will be perfect for t20 anyway since its too short. so the idea would be to play full 20 overs or no game at all. but i think they've done a fair enough job for oneday cricket. come on English supporters remember 92 semi-final? and not sure what flaws in calculation people are refering to.. its not perfect calculus.. stats can be funny sometimes.

  • No featured comments at the moment.