Duckworth defends D/L method

2010-05-05 08:00

Guyana - Frank Duckworth, the co-creator of the Duckworth-Lewis (D/L) method for settling rain-affected matches, has leapt to its defence after it came under fire from England captain Paul Collingwood.

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But he said the International Cricket Council (ICC) needs to look at the minimum length of an innings required to constitute a Twenty20 match.

Collingwood was left fuming after England suffered an eight-wicket loss to the West Indies in the visitors' tournament opener here on Monday, despite scoring 191 - a challenging Twenty20 total.

Rain, though, left the West Indies with a target of 60 from six overs.

At present, five overs of the second innings of a Twenty20 international must be played in order for a winner to be declared and Duckworth told The Wisden Cricketer: "The ICC ought to look into whether five overs for a valid match is appropriate because you can get this apparent distortion."

Collingwood, who saw England bow out of last year's World Twenty20 to the West Indies in similar fashion at the Oval, said after Monday's match: "I don't know what equation you should have but you shouldn't have that one "We've played a near perfect game but we've lost.

But Duckworth, who devised the system with fellow statistician Tony Lewis, countered by saying: "While Paul Collingwood may have been angry at Messrs Duckworth and Lewis, he might have been angry at (England bowlers) Messrs (Tim) Bresnan, (Graeme) Swann and co who added to the four wides that they bowled before the rain by adding four more wides.

"So, the West Indies target wasn't just 60, it was effectively 52."

England still managed to qualify for the second round Super Eights, on superior run-rate, following a no-result washout with Ireland here on Tuesday after the game failed to reached the five over mark in the second innings by the scheduled cut-off time.

"I guess the rain's come around today (Tuesday) at a time that's got us through to the next stage," Collingwood said.

Duckworth, speaking before the England-Ireland match, said it was only England who'd complained about the use of the D/L method in Twenty20.

"Since Twenty20 came into the world in 2002, there have been about 70 cases of T20 with a D/L revised target or result.

"And there's only been two moments of dissent, both by Paul Collingwood or ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) people, both following England not doing very well against the West Indies.

"The other 68 matches - like the one that occurred earlier (on Monday, between Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe), nobody queried that and in fact the result went the other way. The side batting first (Sri Lanka) won."

Duckworth and Lewis updated their system in October after examining data that Duckworth insisted proved the method did not require wholesale revision for Twenty20 matches.

"As a result of that analysis we did decide that a few changes were needed but these were only slight adjustments to the parameter of the formula.

"The important thing that we did discover was that the scoring patterns in Twenty20 fit in perfectly with our original formula derived largely from 50-over games."

Meanwhile, others were critical of the decision to stage matches in Guyana during the 'rainy season'.

One e-mail contributor to BBC Radio's Test Match Special, wrote: "I'm currently thinking of hosting a drinks-based event but am stumped about where to hold it.

"Do you think the ICC, with their renowned timing and planning nous, so well demonstrated by staging part of a sunny weather-dependent international sporting competition in Guyana during the rainy season, might be able to find me a suitable brewery?"

The contributor's sarcasm was misplaced however: it was the West Indies Cricket Board, based on applications from its member countries, who selected the venues for the World Twenty20 and not the ICC.


  • Dwerg - 2010-05-05 08:31

    The only fair thing to do is to complete the match. D/L, in my opinion, cannot be used to determine the outcome of such short, erratic, and unpredictable games as T20 always are. Twenty20 will evolve too fast for the methods to keep up. One has to wonder what the 438 game's predictions were all along the line during SA's chase of an unprecedented total

  • Claude - 2010-05-05 08:56

    The problem with the Duckworth Lewis system is that ordinary mortals have to accept a system as fair. Any system that obviously favours one side in a particular set of circumstances should not be accepted. Losers will always feel a little agreeved but when the general public think something is unfair then whatever the system is it is worse than useless. It usually takes administrators time to admit they are wrong -- maybe ego problems -- I can't say why. The saying "Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics" may be unfair to people like the creators of Duckworth Lewis but its there because anything like this needs for people to accept that it is a fair and just with all the calculated requirements it produces.

  • ab - 2010-05-05 09:11

    i never really understood d/l. i always thoghut it to be an unfair method. i dont understand if rain affects the match in an second innings why cant they just use the average runs needed for the team batting second in comparison to the overs completed i.e at the start of the second innings the team batting second needed to score at 5 runs per over to win the match then that should be the measuremnet at the end of each over completed. that should be fare.

  • T - 2010-05-05 09:26

    What ever happened to rain delayed matches being played the following day? Much as there are grumblings regarding the D/L method, what about the cricket fans who traveled across continents only to see rain washing out all their expectations, at cost nogal? Will the final also be decided D/L style, and if so, Duckworth and Lewis, are they paid on commission or what?

  • Gavin - 2010-05-05 11:31

    With the fielding restrictions in place at the beginning of an innings, it gives the side batting second an unfair advantage if five overs are deemed to constitute a match.

  • Ice - 2010-05-06 07:35

    I'm not sure what everybody else thinks but I do not think this D/L method works very well. A revised total should, in my opinion, always be based on the required run rate to win at the point the rain interrupts e.g. if a team needs 180 to win off 100 balls, then when they come back onto the field, that equation should not change. In fact, as the runs get reduced, the balls should be reduced even more. Its pointless if a system is flawed in that it gives an advantage to one side or another. Take the West Indies and England game. West Indies needed160 to win from roughly 17 overs. That is more or less 10 runs per over. When they came back, that formula stayed the same but now it was 60 off 6 with 10 wickets in hand. That is a much easier situation than 180 off 20 overs. There should be consideration given to the original score and situation the chasing team were in. Maybe in this case, 60 off 4 would probably have been a better reflection of a revised total. Please disagree or agree with me but be nice. Criticism is always welcome. I do feel strongly about this though

  • AL @ Ice - 2010-05-06 09:18

    Looking at your argument: "60 off 6 with 10 wickets in hand" seems like an easier situation but remember that the formula does constantly change if wickets were to fall. If the overs are so low, in this case 6 overs, then maybe they should look at only allowing the team to play 6/5/4 batters instead of the full team to try make it more competitive. The bottom line is that it is a standard formula and if England were batting second, they would`nt be complaining.

  • AL is Wel - 2010-05-06 15:14

    in 20 20 , there should not be a duck worth system. they should have a super over when the rain slow down or a ball out game sa vs india remindered me of the 1992 world cup 1 ball 19 runs to win

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