On Wednesday, 1st April, Tony Lewis renowned for devising the Duckworth-Lewis method for limited-overs, during the rains, died at the age of 78. He, along with Frank Duckworth, a fellow mathematician, formulated this method, which was first applied in 1996-97 when Zimbabwe and England were playing an ODI.
The International Cricket Board officially adopted the calculus methodology, even in the World Cup 1999. Some adjustments to the rule was made by Steven Stern, another mathematician, by considering modern-day scoring rates. Thus, the rule came to be known as the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method. Statement from the board Hearing the news of Lewis’s death, the ECB released a statement that it was rather sad and that cricket, itself, is deeply indebted to Frank and Tony’s contributions. The rule Earlier, only ODIs would apply the Average Rain Rule. However, this wouldn’t take the wickets lost by the team batting second, into consideration. When the least productive overs of the first batting team were ignored, in the 1992 World Cup, it affected the game.
The rain rule would first impact the South African team – as the semi-final was between England and South Africa. It so happened that due to rain, SA had to score a revised target of 21 runs off one ball, instead of 22 off 13 balls. Christopher Martin-Jenkins at the time was heard remarking on the radio by Duckworth wishing that ‘someone would come up with something better’.
CricDost pays a tribute to Tony Lewis who was instrumental in changing the way decisions were made in cricket.
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