The Duckworth/Lewis Method and fairer cricket outcomes

  • The Duckworth/Lewis Method and fairer cricket outcomes

    Dr Anthony Lewis

    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.

    The D/L Method Professional Edition is the standard now adopted globally by the International Cricket Council for resetting the total run target for interrupted limited-overs cricket matches.

    Delivering fairer outcomes

    It enables fairer match outcomes benefitting the teams, their fans and the games’ regulatory bodies.

    The Duckworth/Lewis Method has come to be known by millions of cricket fans around the world.

    The Professional Edition was developed by work undertaken by Dr Anthony Lewis whilst he worked at Oxford Brookes, in collaboration with Dr Frank Duckworth.

    The original D/L Method was published, in collaboration with Dr Duckworth, whilst Dr Lewis was employed by the University of West England. In 2004, employed as a Senior Lecturer at Oxford Brookes, an article by Lewis and co-authored with Duckworth, reviewed the robustness of the original D/L Method whilst providing fuller details of the model behind the method.

    The paper confirmed the D/L Method’s suitability for use in interrupted limited-overs cricket matches but also indicated a need to update the model’s parameters.

    Sometimes controversial

    The Professional Edition made advances over the original formula by improving the parameters where the total run target was above average. This refinement of the original led to the widespread publication, dissemination and endorsement of the D/L Method Professional Edition and demonstrates the diverse applications of academic research.

    ‘The Duckworth-Lewis Method’ is now an accepted part of everyday language and used as an allegory for complexity. Additionally, an Irish pop group featuring Neil Hannon from The Divine Comedy took this name and produced two ‘cricket concept’ albums, the first of which was nominated for an Ivor Novello Award.

    Whilst sometimes controversial, and occasionally questioned, 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.