The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Wednesday announced that Tony Lewis, one of the men behind the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method breathed his last, aged 78. The DLS method is used rain-affected limited-overs matches in international cricket.
Lewis received an MBE (Member of the order of the British Empire) in 2010, for his services to cricket and mathematics.
Lewis devised the DLS method along with fellow mathematician Frank Duckworth, in 1997, as a response to the extraordinary climax of the rain-interrupted 1992 World Cup semifinal between England and South Africa.
The previous method was based on removing the lowest scoring overs from each side’s innings, in rain-affected matches.
ECB honour Tony Lewis, the man behind DLS method
Meanwhile, the ECB issued a statement about the sad demise of Lewis while adding that the cricketing fraternity will always be indebted to Lewis.
“It is with much sadness that the ECB has learned of the passing of Tony Lewis MBE, aged 78,” read their 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.”
The ECB further added, “Cricket is deeply indebted to both Tony and Frank’s contributions to the sport. We send our sincere condolences to Tony’s family.”
The issues surrounding DLS:
While the DLS is definitely a better alternative than the previous measure, it had been criticised as it is difficult to understand, without having the chart that shows where teams need to be after each over, in accordance with the number of wickets they have lost.
Another problem surrounding the DLS is that it is not suited to the Twenty20 format of cricket, which was invented after DLS came into existence. But as of yet, the ICC has found no alternative, and so despite its obvious flaws, the method continues to be of widespread use in cricket.