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Co-creator of cricket’s Duckworth-Lewis-Stern (DLS) method dies

Frank Duckworth (late) seen in this undated image. — X/@RoyalStatSoc/File

Frank Duckworth, the statistician who co-developed cricket’s Duckworth-Lewis-Stern (DLS) method, breathed his last at the age of 84 last week, the Royal Statistical Society (RSS) announced on Tuesday.

“Fellows will be sad to learn that [Frank] Duckworth passed away on 21 June 2024,” read the statement issued by the RSS.

Duckworth was a consultant statistician with the ICC till 2014 and worked with mathematician and lecturer Tony Lewis, who died in 2020 at the age of 78, and devised the DLS method which is used to revise targets in limited overs games truncated due to rain in cricket.

Before the DL method, the rain rule was used to calculate targets in interrupted matches, including the infamous 1992 ODI World Cup semi-final between England and South Africa in Sydney.

The method was later renamed in 2014 with the addition of the name of Australian statistician Steven Stern after he made some modifications

For his services to the game, Duckworth was also awarded the honour of a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 2010.

Reacting to his demise, International Cricket Council’s (ICC) General Manager of Cricket Operations Wasim Khan expressed condolences to his family and said: “Duckworth was a top statistician who was respected by peers as well as the wider cricket fraternity.”

“The DLS method that he co-created has stood the test of time and we have continued to use it in international cricket more than two decades after its inception […] his contribution to the game has been immense and the world of cricket is poorer with his death,” the ICC official added.

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