Lewis of 'DLS method' cricket fame dies, aged 78

back icon
safari
02 Apr 2020 | 06:51 AM
authorAFP

Lewis of 'DLS method' cricket fame dies, aged 78

Tony, alongside fellow mathematician Frank Duckworth, devised the Duckworth-Lewis method which was introduced in 1997

heart

Share

Tony Lewis, one of the men behind the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method used in weather-affected limited overs cricket matches, has died aged 78, the England and Wales Cricket Board announced.

"It is with much sadness that the ECB has learned of the passing of Tony Lewis MBE, aged 78," said a statement.

"Tony, alongside fellow mathematician Frank Duckworth, devised the Duckworth-Lewis method which was introduced in 1997 and adopted officially by the ICC (International Cricket Council) in 1999. 

"Renamed the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern Method in 2014, the mathematical formula continues to be used in rain reduced limited overs cricket games across the globe."

A career academic, and not the Welshman of the same name who captained England, Lewis received an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) for his services to cricket and mathematics in 2010. 

"Cricket is deeply indebted to both Tony and Frank's contributions to the sport," the ECB added.

"We send our sincere condolences to Tony's family."

The formula came about in response to the extraordinary climax of a rain-interrupted 1992 World Cup semi-final in Sydney.

The method then in use was based on removing the lowest-scoring overs from each team's innings.

But it produced a farcical finish to a showpiece semi-final when South Africa, who had faced the challenging but achievable target of 22 runs off 13 balls to beat England, were left with the impossible task of scoring 21 runs off one ball after a rain delay.

Duckworth, the more outspoken of the founding duo -- fellow statistician Steven Stern helped revise the formula several years later -- said: "I recall hearing  (commentator) Christopher Martin-Jenkins on radio saying 'surely someone, somewhere could come up with something better' and I soon realised that it was a mathematical problem that required a mathematical solution."

The big difference between Duckworth-Lewis and previous methods was that it gave credit to sides defending a target for taking wickets as well as chasing sides for scoring runs.  

Significantly, this meant the target could be adjusted proportionately in the event of more than one stoppage.

An enduring criticism of the system is that it is difficult to understand without having access to a chart that shows where teams need to be over by over, for however many wickets they have lost. 

But the sight of a D/L target soon became a familiar feature on cricket scoreboards around the world.

Several sides, however, have still confused the target needed to tie with the total they require to win, with co-hosts South Africa being knocked out of the 2003 World Cup when they made this mistake against Sri Lanka in Durban.

The formula has also been criticised for not being suited to Twenty20 matches, cricket's shortest format, which came into being after Duckworth-Lewis was established.

No alternative method, however, has yet found favour with the ICC.

heart
shareGray Share
Tags

Related Articles

safari
NEWS
Hard surface with lot of grass prepared for Sydney Test: Curator
According to Adam Lewis, COVID-19 also did initially affected the way they worked but now all seems to be "working well"
userPTI
06 Jan 2021
safari
REPORT
Lewis' fiery 89 propels Patriots to first win
The left-handed opener smashed nine sixes in his innings as Patriots beat Tridents by six wickets
userHardik Worah
25 Aug 2020
safari
ONTHISDAY
Australia reign supreme again
On this day in 2007, Australia won their third consecutive World Cup
userPramod Ananth
28 Apr 2020
safari
ONTHISDAY
When South Africa were robbed by a cruel rain rule
On this day in 1992, a seemingly achievable 22 off 13 balls became 21 off 1 and deprived South Africa of a World Cup final spot
userAnirudh Kasargod
20 Mar 2020
safari
REPORT
Evin Lewis hits century as West Indies sweep Ireland
West Indies reached their rain-revised target of 197 with 64 balls to spare
userAFP
13 Jan 2020
safari
ANALYSIS
Opening Australia-Pakistan T20 abandoned due to rain
The two teams will now move to Canberra for the second T20I
userAFP
03 Nov 2019
safari
NEWS
Defiant Sarfaraz won't rule out World Cup revival for Pakistan
The loss leaves Pakistan with just three points from five games
userAFP
17 Jun 2019
safari
NEWS
ICC defend India-Pakistan finish as pundits slam 'farce'
Pakistan were left needing 136 in just five more overs after they came back
userAFP
17 Jun 2019
safari
NEWS
Bhuvneshwar ruled out for next three World Cup games
A three-game absence would rule Kumar out of group fixtures against Afghanistan, the West Indies and England.
userAFP
17 Jun 2019
safari
ANALYSIS
Sri Lanka prevail in thrilling low-scoring contest
Sri Lanka's bowlers produced a clutch performance as they beat Afghanistan by 34 runs (DLS method).
userNitin Fernandes
04 Jun 2019
logo
Cricket like never before
Follow us on
FacebookTwitterLinkedin
@ 2020 cricket.com | All rights reserved