If you are a cricket fan, surely you have come across the DL or DLS method at some or the other time. Duckworth-Lewis method was developed by Tony Lewis and Frank Duckworth back in 1997 and adopted by ICC in 1999. The reason why this method was developed by the two renowned mathematicians was because of the ill-fated results in International Cricket due to the rain stoppage.
For example, during the 1992 World Cup semi-final match between England and South Africa, an incident like this happened. When the rain arrived, South Africa needed 22 runs off 13 balls. Back in the day, the rain-rule for a match was a bit weird. According to that rule, the impossible task of 21 runs from one ball was given to South Africans. It seemed really unfair and this prompted the two legendary mathematicians to come up with a solution to the problem.
Cricket is indebted to both Tony and Frank’s contribution, says ECB
Unfortunately, on Wednesday Tony Lewis, one of the men behind the Duckworth-Lewis method passed away at the age of 78. The news was delivered by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in its statement. “It is with much sadness that the ECB has learned of the passing of Tony Lewis MBE.
“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. Cricket is deeply indebted to both Tony and Frank’s contributions to the sport. We send our sincere condolences to Tony’s family,” ECB’s statement read according to the Times of India.
Tony Lewis was awarded the MBE, Member of the Order of the British Empire, in 2010 for his contributions to the field of mathematics and cricket. The DL Method was used since 1999 and seemed like the best option for deciding results in case of a rain interruption during a match. There still has been criticism against the rule as fans believe it is too difficult to understand.
In 2014, the rules of the DL method were updated and some alterations were added by another prominent mathematician, Steve Stern. Since 2015, the rule is known as DLS or Duckworth Lewis and Stern Method. The rule established by Tony Lewis and Frank Duckworth has been instrumental for the ICC.
The rules laid down by the method seem to not favour either of the teams. Until now, there hasn’t been any other rule which has been favoured ahead of the DLS method. There have been criticisms to the fact that the rule is not suited for the T20 format. But, needless to say, the T20 format came to exist years after the DL method was established.
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