Duckworth/Lewis method

Definition

Cricket

  • noun a system designed for calculating revised targets for either team in rain-interrupted limited-overs games. Famously complicated, the method was first proposed in a paper by Frank Duckworth and Tony Lewis (not the former England cricketer), which appeared in the Journal of the Operational Research Society in 1998 (Volume 49.3, pp 220–227). It was adopted by the ICC shortly afterwards. In outline, targets are set ‘in accordance with the relative run scoring resources which are at the disposal of the two sides’ (The Duckworth/Lewis Method, published by ICC and available from its website). Inevitably, Duckworth/Lewis has its flaws: some critics say it tends to favour keeping wickets in hand above fast scoring, and it may be weighted too much in favour of the team which is batting at the point when the game is interrupted. But the system has been regularly updated and improved. Earlier versions allowed for manual calculation using tables, the current ‘Professional Edition’, adopted in 2004, requires a software program to work out targets, making Duckworth/Lewis a byword for byzantine complexity.
    See also VJD method
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