Cricket’s Duckworth-Lewis co-creator dies aged 84 – Sport

LONDON: Frank Duckworth, one half of the team who pioneered the Duckworth-Lewis method for calculating target scores in limited-overs cricket hit by bad weather, has died at the age of 84.

Along with his fellow statistician Tony Lewis, Duckworth devised the formula that was officially adopted by the International Cricket Council (ICC) in 1999.

The London-based Royal Statistical Society (RSS) said in a statement: “Frank will be remembered largely for his contributions to the Society as editor of RSS News, and to cricket as the co-inventor of the Duckworth-Lewis method.”

Duckworth introduced a short paper, titled ‘A fair result in foul weather’ at an RSS conference in 1992.

The paper was directly inspired by the farcical ending to the 1992 World Cup semi-final between England and South Africa in Australia, when a short spell of rain played havoc with calculations and left South Africa targeting an impossible 22 runs off one ball.

Duckworth’s lecture led to contact with Lewis, and the pair worked together on a formula that was first used in England’s one-day series against Zimbabwe in 1999.

The method was renamed the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method following the retirement of Duckworth and Lewis, after it was slightly modified by Australian statistician Steven Stern.

Published in Dawn, June 26th, 2024

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