Cocreator of Duckworth-Lewis rule, Tony Lewis dies aged 78

By: Sports Desk |

Published: April 2, 2020 2:35:05 pm

Rain falls on the Sydney Cricket Ground delaying the start of the Women’s T20 World Cup cricket semifinal matches. (AP /File Photo)

Tony Lewis, one of the the two persons behind the Duckworth-Lewis rule in limited-overs cricket, passed away Wednesday aged 78.

The English Cricket Board (ECB) released a statement condoling Lewis’ death.

“It is with much sadness that the ECB has learned of the passing of Tony Lewis MBE, aged 78,” the statement read. “Cricket is deeply indebted to both Tony and Frank’s contributions to the sport. We send our sincere condolences to Tony’s family.”

Born in Bolton, Lewis graduated from Sheffield University with a degree in Mathematics and Statistics. He and mathematician Frank Duckworth were appointed MBEs in 2010 for their services to cricket and mathematics.

The D/L method

Prior to the D/L rule, Average Rain Rule method was used for ODIs. However, the rule did not take into account the number of wickets lost by the side batting second. Controversially, during the 1992 World Cup the  rule was found to ignore the least productive overs of the team batting first.

Lewis along with fellow mathematician Duckworth had devised the rule to decide the target in limited-overs games that were interrupted by rain. It was first used in an ODI match between Zimbabwe and England in 1996-97. The rule was eventually adopted by International Cricket Council in the 1999 World Cup.

However, further adjustments were made in the rule in 2014 by Steven Stern, a mathematician from Queensland, taking into account modern day scoring rates. The name was then changed to Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method and it was implemented in the 2015 World Cup.

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