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Page last updated at 19:48 GMT, Tuesday, 4 May 2010 20:48 UK

Duckworth responds to Collingwood rain rules criticism

Frank Duckworth and Tony Lewis
Duckworth and Lewis's formula was adopted by the ICC in 1997

Statistician Frank Duckworth has hit back after England Twenty20 captain Paul Collingwood criticised the Duckworth-Lewis "rain rules" formula.

England made 191-5 against West Indies on Monday, rain came with the Windies 30-0 from 2.2 overs, and their target was revised to 60 from six overs.

"There's a major problem with it (D/L) in Twenty20," said Collingwood.

But Duckworth told the Cricinfo website that West Indies were 11 runs ahead of the "par" score when it rained.

He insisted that the wides England bowled early in the hosts' innings had contributed to the target that was set according to the D/L formula, which takes into account which resources (wickets in hand and overs in hand) have been used when play is interrupted.

"That revised target of 60 from six overs was set because, before the rain interruption, West Indies had faced 14 balls and scored a massive 30 runs without losing any wickets," said Duckworth, who devised the system with fellow statistician Tony Lewis before it was first used in an International Cricket Council (ICC)-sanctioned game in 1997, and fully adopted in 2001.


"They were 11 runs ahead of the D/L par, and if the match hadn't been able to restart, and if for the sake of argument you allowed a match to be valid with only 2.2 overs bowled, then West Indies would have won by 11 runs. They were winning easily when the rain came.

"While Paul Collingwood may have been angry at Messrs Duckworth and Lewis, he might have been angry at Messrs Tim Bresnan, Graeme Swann and co - who added to the four wides that they bowled before the rain by adding four more wides.

"So, the West Indies target wasn't just 60 - it was effectively 52.

"Since Twenty20 was invented in 2002, there have been about 70 matches decided by Duckworth-Lewis with a revised target or result. We review the data every four years.

"There's only been two instances where dissent has been expressed, both by Paul Collingwood or England people, both following England not doing very well against West Indies."

The previous incident Duckworth refers to was England's exit from 2009's ICC World Twenty20 on home soil, when they bowed out after a Super Eight phase game at The Oval.

England posted 161-7 from their 20 overs before it rained, with the West Indies set 80 to win from nine overs, a target they reached with four balls to spare.

This time around, England posted the highest total to date at this year's World Twenty20 tournament in the Caribbean - but were dismayed to see West Indies only asked to score 30 more runs from 22 balls following the resumption.

"I think 95% of the time when you get 191-5 on the board you are going to win the game," reflected Collingwood.

"Unfortunately, Duckworth-Lewis seems to have other ideas - it brings the equation completely the other way.

"It's the second time it's happened to us now against West Indies, so it is very frustrating - because we've played a near perfect game but we've lost."

However, Duckworth pointed out that the ICC was responsible for the regulation that a match can be construed when a side has only five overs to face.

"You're much more liable to get apparent distortion when you can have only five overs constituting a valid innings," the statistician stated.

"The ICC ought to look into whether five overs for a valid match is appropriate, because you can get this apparent distortion."

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see also
Collingwood eyes rain-rule change
04 May 10 |  England
England lose rain-affected clash
03 May 10 |  England
World Twenty20 day four photos
03 May 10 |  Cricket
Collingwood laments rain-hit exit
15 Jun 09 |  England
Windies knock England out of T20
15 Jun 09 |  England
A decade of Duckworth-Lewis
01 Jan 07 |  Cricket
ICC World Twenty20 2010
17 May 10 |  Cricket
Live cricket on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Cricket

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