Tony Lewis of cricket fame 'DLS Method' dies

LONDON: Tony Lewis , one of the men behind the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method used in limited weather constraints Cricket matches, he died at age 78, the England and Wales Cricket Board announced Wednesday.

It is with much sadness that the ECB has learned of the passing of Tony Lewis MBE, aged 78, said a statement. Tony, alongside fellow mathematician Frank Duckworth, devised the Duckworth-Lewis method which was introduced in 1997 and adopted officially by the ICC (International Cricket Council) in 1999.

"Renamed the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern Method in 2014, the mathematical formula continues to be used in rain-reduced limited-overs Cricket games across the globe."

A career academic, and not the Welshman of the same name who captained England, Lewis received an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) for his services to Cricket and mathematics in 2010.

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Cricket is deeply indebted to Tony and Frank's contributions to the sport, the ECB added. We extend our sincere condolences to Tony's family.

The formula emerged in response to the extraordinary climax of a 1992 World Cup semi-final interrupted by rain in Sydney.

The method used then was based on removing the lowest scoring entries from each team's entries.

But it produced a ridiculous finish in a spectacular semi-final when South Africa, which had faced the challenging but achievable goal of 22 13-ball runs to beat England, had the impossible task of scoring 21 one-ball runs after a rain delay.

Duckworth, the most outspoken founding duo, fellow statistician Steven Stern helped revise the formula several years later, saying: I remember hearing (commentator) Christopher Martin-Jenkins on the radio saying 'surely someone, somewhere could come up with something better 'and I soon realized that it was a mathematical problem that required a mathematical solution.

The big difference between Duckworth-Lewis and the previous methods was that it credited sides defending a target for taking wickets, as well as chasing sides to score runs.

Significantly, this meant that the target could be adjusted proportionally in the event of more than one arrest.

A lasting criticism of the system is that it is difficult to understand without having access to a table that shows where the teams must finish, due to the amount of wickets they have lost.

But the sight of a D/L target soon became a familiar feature on Cricket scoreboards around the world.

However, several sides have still confused the goal required to tie for the total they require to win, and South Africa was kicked out of the 2003 World Cup when they made this mistake against Sri Lanka in Durban.

The formula has also been criticised for not being suited to Twenty20 matches, Cricket 's shortest format, which came into being after Duckworth-Lewis was established.

No alternative method, however, has yet found favor with the ICC.