One of the men behind the development of the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern (DSL) method, Tony Lewis took his last breath on Wednesday at the age of 78, announced by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in a statement.
The statement said, “It is with much sadness that the ECB has learned of the passing of Tony Lewis MBE, aged 78,”. It 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 ECB said that “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”.
The ECB also reminded of the benefit of the method, saying, “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”.
Lewis was a career academic and share the name with an England captain. Tony Lewis, also, in 2010, received an MBE which is the Member of the Order of the British Empire for his services in mathematics and cricket.
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ECB added that “Cirkcter is deeply indebted to both Tony and Frank’s contributions to the sport”.
This method came into existence because of the extraordinary climax of a rain interrupted World Cup semi final in 1992 in Sydney.
The then in use method was based on removing the lowest scoring overs from each team’s innings, however, it brought out a farcical finish to the showpiece semi-final of 1992 where South Africa who only needed 22 runs off 13 balls to beat England were left to attain an impossible task of scoring 21 runs off just 1 ball after the delay caused by the rain.
Duckworth was helped by his fellow statistician Steven Stern revise the formula several years later has said, “I recall hearing (commentator) Christopher Martin-Jenkins on the radio saying ‘surely someone, somewhere could come up with something better’ and I soon realised that it was a mathematical problem that required a mathematical solution”.
DL method came into existence in 1997 and was adopted by the International Cricket Council (ICC) in the year 1999. The method was devised after stern reactions it received for the semi final match of the 1992 World Cup wherein South Africa were stripped off of a legit fighting chance in the rain affected match.
In 2014, the DL method was updated to DLS by the ICC. In the year 2018, the ICC rolled out a new updated version of the DLS method. The third version of the DLS carries out detailed ball by ball analysis of the scoring pattern, including the Powerplays.