Cricket-Duckworth-Lewis co-inventor Tony Lewis dies, aged 78

LONDON, April 2 (Reuters) - Tony Lewis, co-inventor of the Duckworth-Lewis method for settling weather-affected cricket matches, has died aged 78.

Former university lecturer Lewis, together with mathematician Frank Duckworth, devised the formula that was first used in match between Zimbabwe and England in 1997 and adopted by the International Cricket Council (ICC) in 1999.

"It is with much sadness that the ECB has learned of the passing of Tony Lewis MBE. Our thoughts are with Tony's family," the England and Wales Cricket Board said on Twitter.

"Cricket is deeply indebted to both Tony and Frank's contributions to the sport."

The ICC also expressed its "sadness" at the news.

How to create a fair run chase in weather-hit limited overs cricket matches had stumped authorities for years.

At the 1992 World Cup things reached a head in the semi-final when South Africa's target of 22 runs from 13 balls remaining was re-calculated to 22 runs off one ball.

"I recall hearing (BBC commentator) Christopher Martin-Jenkins on radio saying, 'Surely someone, somewhere, could come up with something better,' and I realised that it was a mathematical problem that required a mathematical solution," Duckworth said in an interview in 2007.

The Duckworth-Lewis method is an algorithmic solution that calculates a new target for a batting team based on its 'resources', namely wickets and overs in hand.

Since 2014 the method has been known as the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern (DLS) method after Australian professor Steven Stern became the custodian of the system, and made some tweaks to counter modern scoring rates, after the retirements of Duckworth and Lewis who were both awarded MBEs in 2010.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; editing by Ken Ferris)

((martyn.herman@thomsonreuters.com; +442075427933; Reuters Messaging: martyn.herman@thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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