It’s fair for all! By Ezra Stuart
Guyana Chronicle
March 31, 2004

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CRICKET’S MOST complex figures were unravelled in Barbados, Monday.

Duckworth and Lewis, a long-standing partnership which defied cricket officials worldwide, was finally broken when the two experts explained their theory.

Dr Frank Duckworth and Professor Tony Lewis, who conceptualised the Duckworth/Lewis system to calculate target in rain-affected cricket matches, say it was designed to bring about fairness and not controversy.

In explaining the system they devised in the early 1990s, they said it was very simple to calculate.

“What we’ve got is a system that produces fair targets in all situations, while the old systems just worked in some circumstances, but not all circumstances,” Lewis said at a Press conference at Almond Beach Village.

Duckworth and Lewis, who are in Barbados at the invitation of Sagicor General Insurance Company, said they came up with a simple system based on mathematics.

“It is a fairly simple process by which we use mathematical ideas to produce a fair target in all situations,” remarked Lewis.

Noting it took between four and five years to arrive at the system, Duckworth said he first suggested such a formula at a presentation conference in 1992.

He said Lewis, a mathematics lecturer at Oxford/Brookes University in England, heard about the method he was advancing and mandated one of his research students to work on it as a student project.

“After that, we got together and turned it into something that can be operated quite simply and maybe understood,” said Duckworth.

This system has been used by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for its One-Day Internationals and World Cup matches since 1997.

However, Duckworth, a retired statistical consultant and editor of the Royal Statistics Society, and Lewis, disputed assertions by cricket commentators and other pundits that it was a very complicated system.

“It is a very easy system …. People try to make it appear complicated but it is really extremely simple mathematically,” Duckworth said.

Duckworth and Lewis will also speak about the system at a public lecture at Sherbourne Conference Centre tomorrow night. (Barbados Nation)