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Duckworth-Lewis method is full of flaws

Published:Friday | June 1, 2012 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

David Hopps, the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo, is reporting that the ICC's cricket committee will be discussing proposals to replace the Duckworth-Lewis (D/L) Method, the system used to recalculate run targets in rain-affected one-day matches.

The proposed replacement is the VJD Method, created by V. Jayadevan, an engineer from India.

At this time, I know almost nothing about the VJD Method, so I can't comment on its merits or demerits. In the case of the D/L Method, however, there are a few weaknesses that limit its accuracy. The article indicated some of them:

1. The assumption that a team's scoring rate starts slowly then accelerates throughout its innings is negated by early fielding restrictions, which facilitate quick scoring in the early overs.

2. There are no adjustments for the power plays occurring later in the innings.

other shortfalls

In addition, this method assumes that the batsmen will always bat in the order of their known capabilities. It does not account for the cases in which, say, a usual No. 9 batsman opens the innings or comes in at No. 3. The resource order would have been changed; the table would not.

Also, the table indicates that after seven wickets are down, the available resources are almost constant between 50 and 20 overs (26.5-25.2). This suggests that the lower order cannot make much use of the overs, regardless of how many there are.

Finally, the method would be even less accurate in a T20 match, where the variables are increased, including more pinch-hitting, non-stop hitting, and reckless abandon.

PETER POWELL

PowellP@aicjamaica.com