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"It matters a great deal who is going to win, but not at all who won"

Willie John McBride, Irish Rugby player

Duckworth Lewis

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The Method and the men behind it, Frank Duckworth and Tony Lewis, Cheltenham, SportsBooks, 2011. ISBN 9781907534004

This is certainly an unusual book! The review should probably start with an explanation of what “The Duckworth Lewis (or D/L) Method” actually is. But, in all honesty, if you don’t know that it is the method used to find a winner in a rain-affected cricket match, you are unlikely to be reading the book!

The book jumps from narrative account of the personal story of the two English Mathematicians who developed the formula to detailed Mathematical discussions of how the formula emerged and was honed. The least interesting part is the authors’ moaning about why they did not get more invitations for corporate hospitality!

The chapter “Why the method was needed” sets the scene well, making reference to the infamous England South Africa World Cup game when South Africa’s target was changed by rain from 22 off 13 balls to 13 off 1 ball.

Two things that I was fascinated to learn is that D/L is far from being the only method devised and put forward and also that D/L has been a work in progress with many tweaks along the way.

The book gives a set of tables to enable you to do your own calculations. Be thankful that the book was not written at an era when 51 different tables were required!!

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