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Tony Lewis, co-inventor of Duckworth- Lewis Method dies at 78

Duckworth-Lewis method was first used in the match between Zimbabwe and England in 1997 and the method was later adopted by International Cricket Council (ICC) in 1999.

Apr 3, 2020 14:53 IST
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Tony Lewis, who was a co-inventor of the Duckworth-Lewis method passed away at the age of  78 years. The England and Wales Cricket Board made the announcement on April 1, 2020.

Lewis was a former University professor who along with mathematician Frank Duckworth devised the Duckworth-Lewis method to settle weather-affected cricket matches. The formula was first used in the match between Zimbabwe and England in 1997 and the method was later adopted by International Cricket Council (ICC) in 1999.

The England and Wales Cricket Board in their statement mentioned that cricket is indebted to the contribution of both Lewis and Duckworth. ICC expressed sadness over the news through a tweet on their twitter handle.

Who was Tony Lewis?

Tony Lewis was born in Bolton and was a former lecturer in Management Science at the University of the West of England. He retired in January 2008, as a lecturer in Quantitative Research Method from Oxford Brookes University.

Lewis came together with Duckworth, who is a retired English statistician, to devise the famous Lewis-Duckworth method after the 1992 World Cup.

Both Lewis-Duckworth were awarded MBE’s (Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) in 2010 for their services to Mathematics and Cricket.

What is the Duckworth-Lewis method?
The Duckworth–Lewis–Stern method (DLS) method is a mathematical calculation. It is designed to calculate the second batting team target score in a limited-overs cricket match, interrupted by rain or any other circumstances. The DLS calculator has been accepted as the most accurate method to set a target score.

Background of the Duckworth-Lewis Method

As per Duckworth's interview in 2007, the idea of an algorithmic solution came after 1992 World Cup Semi-Final, when South Africa’s target of 22 runs from 13 balls was re-calculated to be 22 runs off one ball.

Duckworth’s presentation to a Royal Statistical Society Conference in 1992 caught Lewis’s attention and the pair began working together on fine-tuning the calculation.

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