Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Run Away Duckworth-Lewis (D/L). You have no business in Cricket!!!

Am I being fair in my statement? Why Not? Most cricketers don’t know how this stuff works. The commentators don’t care to explain the calculations that revise the targets. The common cricket fans don’t understand or even attempt to comprehend. Some of the amateur leagues or for that matter even professional leagues around the globe don’t adopt D/L for rain intervened games. At times, I even doubt if the International umpires get the formula or entirely depend on the software to calculate results. By any means, majority of the population that is actively involved in the game don’t get Duckworth-Lewis method. So, what the heck is D/L doing in cricket?

For once, I really got curious to know D/L that now appears rocket science for many. After spending few hours on the following two websites, I arrived at the conclusion that calculations using Duckworth-Lewis is not as difficult as we think it is.


Let me keep it as simple as possible. There are only two formulas. Depending on the circumstances (i.e if R1 > R2 use Formula 1, If R2 > R1 use Formula 2, if R1 = R2 no revision needed) we use either of the formula to calculate the target.

Formula 1: 
T = (S x R 2/R1) + 1 (rounded down to a whole number, if necessary)

Formula 2:
T = S + (R2 – R 1) x G50/100 + 1 (rounded down to a whole number, if necessary)

N is the number of overs per innings for the match as decided at the moment of delivery of the first ball of the match.
S is Team 1’s total score.
R1 is the resource percentage (relative to a full 50-over innings) available to Team 1.
R2 is the resource percentage (relative to a full 50-over innings) available to Team 2.
T is Team 2’s target score.
G50 is 245 or 200

There is already D/L table provided. All we have to do is look up for R1 and R2 from the table (already found in the end of the pdf link) based on our situation, apply it in the formula and calculate results. This is just like looking at a log book as we did during our school days. It does not take more than a minute to do all calculations.

I think it is only a perception that D/L is complicated and that drove people away from trying it. Again I’m not here to judge the validity of D/L method. But, I surely feel it does a fair calculation for one of the important games of cricket history that received a raw deal because of the absence of D/L. No cricket fan can ever deny that South Africa should have won the game chasing 22 runs in 13 balls in the 1992 World Cup. Unfortunately rain intervened at the wrong moment and then the target was revised to 22 runs in 1 ball. Had it been for D/L it would be 4 runs of 1 ball to tie and 5 runs of 1 ball to win. Don’t you agree that D/L throws a relatively fair equation in this scenario?

I know many of you still question the validity of D/L. Unless we start applying D/L in our normal league matches, how do you think it is fair to question the validity. In my humble opinion, only with regular usage we will be able to appreciate/criticize the method.

But the true bottleneck is implementing D/L in everyday cricket matches played in the amateur/professional leagues. For this to happen, awareness should be created among the public about D/L method. Commentators are the best to take this assignment. If commentators start talking regularly about D/L method during matches and explain the calculations, the awareness will prevail. Rain affected matches would be most appropriate times. Instead of showing the targets from D/L method if broadcasters/commentators take little effort and explain the calculations using the formula, knowledge will be cultivated among public. 

Also amateur/professional leagues around globle should start educating their umpires to use D/L for rain affected games. The leagues should teach their umpires to see the D/L log book and calculate the targets using formula. Then the day will not be far off that will break the myth surrounding D/L.

Bottom line: I won't be surprised if there is already D/L App for Smart Phones.

Cricket Lover

PS: The article came out after a constructive discussion/argument with my good friend Balaji Murali. He is a co-blogger in crazycricketlover. Thanks to all my friends who provided your thoughts on D/L that helped me to come up with this article.

1 comment:

  1. Even though I do share your enthusiasm for D/L, I am not too convinced if it can be applied in league games (at least in our league!). The reason being, just as you said that stakeholders such as commentators (which we don't have any), umpires (who mostly show up to collect money and fulfill their dose of cricket), and even teams (who want the simplicity of calculations) show it's appreciation. Umpires would not want to have to manage the game on their own and work on D/L calculations as well.

    Smartphone App is a great idea however and should help get D/L implemented.

    My two cents!!



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