Tony Lewis focus on D/L method stayed grounded
Former Zimbabwe captain Alistair Campbell has paid rich tribute to Tony Lewis (not to be misunderstood with the 81-year-old former England Test captain) of the Duckworth-Lewis rain rule.
The mathematician who, along with Frank Duckworth, developed the Duckworth–Lewis method of resetting targets in interrupted cricket matches passed away at the age of 78.
Campbell-led team was the first beneficiary of the rule when introduced in a ODI against England on January 1, 1997. The ODI was won by Zimbabwe by 7 runs (revised target).
Speaking exclusively, Campbell said,
“I never met Mr Lewis and can’t really remember that game but can recall the method being well received as opposed to what was in place previously. It was a step in the right direction to give the side chasing in particular a fairer chance.”
“There were no electronic scoreboards so had to carry the calculations in my pocket. I had the 12th man come on every over just to check that it was correct,” added Campbell.
Russell Tiffin was a TV umpire in the match. “Sorry to hear the demise of Lewis. My condolences,” he said over telephone from Harare.
“After struggling to recall the match after 23 years, I can say that DL was tough to use then but we got it right. Likewise, it was a successful series for Zimbabwe and the umpires engagements.”
According to Prof. Steven Stern, who now is the custodian of this rain rule, Tony Lewis was a practical man.
Speaking exclusively from Australia, he said, “Tony was always the practical one of the trio of us, and it was his focus that made sure that the DL (and then DLS) method stayed grounded and always focused on the data.”
“I heard this sad news. I only met Tony in person two or three times at conferences, but we obviously communicated via email very often.”
“It was a pleasure to work with him and I will be forever grateful to him (and Frank as well) for their generosity in taking me into their confidence and allowing me to be a part of their working partnership,” he further added.
The match-interruption rule is now being recognized as DLS denoting Duckworth, Lewis and Stern.