Duckworth-Lewis method deviser Tony Lewis passes away

Duckworth-Lewis method deviser Tony Lewis passes away”

The former cricketer was best known for devising the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern (DLS) method, which is a mathematical formula applied "in rain reduced limited overs cricket".

Lewis and fellow academic Frank Duckworth came together to produce a fairer method of settling such games than the controversial system which had been used at the 1992 World Cup. The rain rule was officially adopted by the International Cricket Council during the 1999 World Cup.

While there is no simple way to explain the formula's workings, it essentially treats overs and wickets in hand as "resources" available to a batting side, and makes proportionate adjustments to the target in the event of those resources being lost in rain interruptions.

"Tony's contribution to cricket is huge", ICC general manager Geoff Allardice said in a statement. "Our thoughts are with Tony's family", the England and Wales Cricket Board said on Twitter.

The method appreciably improved rain-affected matches and in the process became well-known by cricket admirers worldwide - and as India adores cricket above all other sports, that's a few hundred million people.

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Born in Bolton, Lancashire, Lewis had graduated from Sheffield University with a degree in Mathematics and Statistics. Requiring 22 runs from 13 balls before rain stopped play during the semi-final against England, the target dropped to 22 from one when play resumed.

Enter Duckworth, who had unveiled his prototype rain-rule in the 1980s but had been largely ignored on the basis of complexity.

An enduring criticism of the system is that it is hard 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. He and Duckworth were appointed as Members of the Order of the British Empire in 2010 for services to cricket.

"His contribution to the game of cricket will be remembered for years to come and we send our condolences to his family and friends".

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