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Fudge it!

by Homer

June 17, 2009

A report in the Guardian claims that the Duckworth-Lewis system used in rain-affected matches will be reviewed in the coming months to take into account Twenty20 matches.
The Duckworth-Lewis method was introduced in 1997 after several failed attempts to come up with a way to make rain-affected one-day games more competitive. Since then, although there have been minor changes to the way run chases are calculated, no major overhaul has been undertaken. But the different needs of Twenty20 cricket means the time has come for a rethink.
"People have suggested that we need to look very carefully and see whether in fact the numbers in our formula are totally appropriate for the Twenty20 game," Frank Duckworth, one of the co-inventors, told the newspaper. "We thought it was appropriate to wait until the end of this competition when we've got a lot more Twenty20 data on our database. 
16 June 2009

"There's a major problem with Duckworth-Lewis in this form of the game," Collingwood said. "I've got no problem with it in one-dayers, and I know it's made me very frustrated tonight because I've come off the losing captain, but it's certainly got to be revised in this form.
"Ninety-five percent of the time when you get 191 runs on the board you are going to win the game. Unfortunately Duckworth-Lewis seems to have other ideas and brings the equation completely the other way and makes it very difficult."
Just to rub it in for Collingwood, five minutes after the game ended torrential rain started. There was always a risk that weather would play its part in Guyana and both games on Monday were affected with Sri Lanka also winning under the D-L system. It was a lack of intent that cost Zimbabwe - although it is believed they didn't have a copy of the D-L chart when their revised chase began.
16 June 2009
Incensed by the comparison, Duckworth scorned the inventor of VJD. "He uses what we call a Delphic method. He tries to give people what they feel is a fair answer and he keeps fiddling his figures to do it."


Jonathan said...

Which is better - a fudge method, or a method for a different situation fudged to fit into this one?

I don't know why they bother saying the different needs mean the time has come for a rethink - the simple fact is that DL with its currently used parameters was never completely appropriate for T20 (or even modern ODIs). That says nothing about whether it works in the original situation.

Homer said...


Both are fudges, although in defense of the VJD method,it has to be said that it is the preferred method for rain delay calculation in Indian domestic cricket.


Jonathan said...

Homer, just look at some of the preferred methods of the past...

More seriously, I haven't looked into VJD enough to comment on it - it is just clear that any criticism of it as a fudge only makes sense in a theoretical context completely removed from the world where D/L is used for T20.