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Duck the D/L, India has VJD

IT TOOK V. Jayadevan, an IIT graduate, a decade to get the elusive acclaim — and the money that comes with it, reports Anam Arsalan.

cricket Updated: Mar 26, 2008 23:28 IST
Anam Arsalan

IT TOOK V. Jayadevan, an IIT graduate, a decade to get the elusive acclaim — and the money that comes with it. And he thanks the Indian Cricket League for that — for oblivious reasons. The 44-year-old Kerala-based cricket aficionado has done pioneering work in computation of target scores in interrupted limited-over matches. Simply put, his VJD method is a counter to the Duckworth-Lewis (D/L) method and people say it is much better than the traditional method.

Speaking to HT from Thrissur, he said, “I had devised this method much before the D/L method was introduced in international matches (October 1998), but never pushed my case.

“It was only after I realised that the D/L method had flaws that I started promoting my method,” he added. But, it wasn’t until 2000 that he managed to make his presence felt. “Sunil Gavaskar found it interesting and called me up for a presentation. The following year, the BCCI decided to table my method in front of the ICC,” said the Kerala Engineering Research Institute employee.

But as luck would have it, his method was not considered by the ICC, as the BCCI got late in submitting the papers. Later, in order to retain the edge over rival computation methods, the D/L method was significantly improved by it makers, Frank Duckworth and Tony Lewis.

In 2005, the BCCI again sent the VJD method to the ICC for reconsideration. “The BCCI had forcefully taken up my case then, but by that time other methods too had come up. That year, the ICC got as many as four applications including mine and the D/L one.”

Finally, it was left to England-based scorer and statistician David Kendix to take a decision on the matter. “So, after the initial elimination procedure, my method and the D/L system were short-listed. Although Kendix liked my system, he decided in favour of the D/L method stating that ‘Flexibility to take future changes in playing conditions, the D/L method is better’. So that was the end of it,” said a rueful Jayadevan.

But, the then BCCI secretary S.K. Nair promised Jayadevan that the VJD method would be used in domestic matches in India and the promise was kept. The method was used in four domestic games in 2006, but soon the Board decided to revert back to the D/L method keeping in mind the approaching World Cup in 2007.

After the World Cup, Jayadevan again started promoting his method and soon it was brought back into domestic circuit. “This season starting September 2007 it has been widely used in domestic games but unfortunately I have yet to get any remuneration for the same from the Board and so I decided to move on to ICL,” he added.

And at the ICL, Jayadevan is finally getting what has been long overdue — the money for his hard work. “Finally, I have been able to cover my costs,” he said. And since his system is well suited for the T20 matches, is the IPL too on his cards? To which Jayadevan said,“Sure, I wouldn’t mind that.”