The Cricket World Cup sees a change to the Duckworth-Lewis Method

Friday, 13 February 2015


With the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 kicking off this weekend (14 February) the sometimes controversial Duckworth-Lewis (D/L) method has evolved featuring a new addition.

When a limited-overs match is interrupted by rain, it simply wouldn’t be cricket for the result to be determined without a proper formula.

Understandably,Z(u,0, λ)= Z0 F(w)λn(w)+1 {1- exp ( - bu/[λn(w)F(w)])} is unlikely to make sense for the majority of people.

However, as the Duckworth/Lewis (D/L) Method, it has come to be known by millions of cricket fans around the world, and it originated from research undertaken at Oxford Brookes.

Subject to revision every two years the D/L method algorithm was revised in November last year by Steve Stern a statistics professor and computer programmer at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia.  It is now known as the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern Method (DLS).

Steve modified and modernised the system to better handle higher run totals.  

In an article in Courier Mail the local daily newspaper in Brisbane, Stern said:

“I have always been a sports nut and I had some friends explain the rules of cricket to me.  They said that seeing as I was a mathematician, I should explain the Duckworth-Lewis system to them.  It started out with those sorts of discussions and then I got in touch with Frank Duckworth and Tony Lewis.  One thing led to another and now I am the official custodian of the DLS method.”

The new DLS Method will be used for the first time at this year’s World Cup.

I got in touch with Frank Duckworth and Tony Lewis. One thing led to another and now I am the official custodian of the DLS method

Steve Stern

The Professional Edition of the former D/L Method originated from work undertaken by Dr Anthony Lewis whilst he worked at Oxford Brookes University.

A continued subject of widespread publication, dissemination and endorsement, the important contribution that the D/L Method has made to a popular pursuit has led to an increasing awareness of the value of the mathematical sciences in areas far removed from both academia, and now even the cricket field.

Read more about the full Impact Case Study on RADAR.

More about the impact of research at Oxford Brookes can be found on our dedicated webpages REF webpages.  

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the new system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The REF results for Oxford Brookes University were published in December 2014 and showed that 94%* of research is internationally recognised.