Duckworth and Lewis honoured with MBE

Frank Duckworth and Tony Lewis Vic Isaacs / © Victor Isaacs

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.'