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The Worth of Duckworth-Lewis

CONTRIBUTOR
719   //    01 Jul 2011, 14:11 IST

Duckworth-Lewis method (D/L method) is a scientific formulation used to calculate target scores in rain interrupted matches.the D/l was devised by two english mathematicians Frank Duckworth and Tony Lewis .It is regarded as the best method for this purpose till now and has been in use since 2001.But as this method tries to predict what would have been the natural conlusion of the match,this method has generated controversies many times

In this method ,there are two resources used to calculate target scores -wickets left and overs remaining,now many people have critisized it on the basis that wickets are more heavily weighted then it should be in present context of the game .say for example –a team is chasing a target of 300 in 50 ov match(RRR 6) ,and if the team chasing  the target feels that there is a strong chance of rain and if they are able to score at a modest rate of around 4.7-4.8 per over wihout losing a wicket for first 20 overs,that would be enough to win it.Also ,this method does not take into account the powerplays ,so that would be an added advantage in this case

This method,however, has been criticized many times

I would like to give you a  recent example of a match between England and West-indies in ICC Wcup T20 2010, where England scored 191/5 in 20 overs and west-indies had scored 30/0 in 2.2 overs when rain interrupted play. The west indies were then given a target of 60 in 6 overs when play resumed, which they achieved easily as they hasd all 10 wkts in hand.Paul Collingwood (captain of england) heavily criticized the appropriateness of D/L method

“Ninety-five percent of the time when you get 191 runs on the board you are going to win the game. Unfortunately Duckworth-Lewis seems to have other ideas and brings the equation completely the other way and makes it very difficult” disappointed Collingwood said.

This was just one of the numerous contoversies this method has generated over the past 10 years,this method can create huge contoversies and dissatisfaction if the match is very high profile(say wcup final etc.)

Now, lets analyse a simple idea to make things better. If some amount of power is given to the three field umpires to change (to some margin) the target score calculated by D/L metod ,wouldn’t it be better for the game.Now say in the above example of west indies england match,umpires had been given the power to influence the target score upto some extent (say plus minus 10 percent) ,they could have given a target of 66 which clearly seems more fair in this case.

As we know, umpires have a strong impact on the game, one wrong decision by the umpires can change the whole game,so why to hesitate giving them a little more power which could only make the game better ,it cannot harm the game (i beleive)

This system can reduce controversies and dissatisfaction among teams and supporters to a great extent and the game would be more fair to the teams and more enjoyable for the supporters.

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