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Duckworth defends D/L after Collingwood blast

Frank Duckworth, the co-creator of the Duckworth-Lewis (D/L) method for settling rain-affected matches, has leapt to its defence after it came under fire from England captain Paul Collingwood.

cricket Updated: May 05, 2010 12:27 IST

Frank Duckworth, the co-creator of the Duckworth-Lewis (D/L) method for settling rain-affected matches, has leapt to its defence after it came under fire from England captain Paul Collingwood.

But he said the International Cricket Council (ICC) needs to look at the minimum length of an innings required to constitute a Twenty20 match.

Collingwood was left fuming after England suffered an eight-wicket loss to the West Indies in the visitors' tournament opener here on Monday, despite scoring 191 - a challenging Twenty20 total.

Rain, though, left the West Indies with a target of 60 from six overs.

At present, five overs of the second innings of a Twenty20 international must be played in order for a winner to be declared and Duckworth told The Wisden Cricketer: "The ICC ought to look into whether five overs for a valid match is appropriate because you can get this apparent distortion."

Collingwood, who saw England bow out of last year's World Twenty20 to the West Indies in similar fashion at the Oval, said after Monday's match: "I don't know what equation you should have but you shouldn't have that one

"We've played a near perfect game but we've lost.

But Duckworth, who devised the system with fellow statistician Tony Lewis, countered by saying: "While Paul Collingwood may have been angry at Messrs Duckworth and Lewis, he might have been angry at (England bowlers) 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."

England still managed to qualify for the second round Super Eights, on superior run-rate, following a no-result washout with Ireland here on Tuesday after the game failed to reached the five over mark in the second innings by the scheduled cut-off time of 2159GMT.

"I guess the rain's come around today (Tuesday) at a time that's got us through to the next stage," Collingwood said.

Duckworth, speaking before the England-Ireland match, said it was only England who'd complained about the use of the D/L method in Twenty20.

"Since Twenty20 came into the world in 2002, there have been about 70 cases of T20 with a D/L revised target or result.

"And there's only been two moments of dissent, both by Paul Collingwood or ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) people, both following England not doing very well against the West Indies.

"The other 68 matches - like the one that occurred earlier (on Monday, between Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe), nobody queried that and in fact the result went the other way. The side batting first (Sri Lanka) won."

Duckworth and Lewis updated their system in October after examining data that Duckworth insisted proved the method did not require wholesale revision for Twenty20 matches.

"As a result of that analysis we did decide that a few changes were needed but these were only slight adjustments to the parameter of the formula.

"The important thing that we did discover was that the scoring patterns in Twenty20 fit in perfectly with our original formula derived largely from 50-over games."

Meanwhile, others were critical of the decision to stage matches in Guyana during the 'rainy season'.

One e-mail contributor to BBC Radio's Test Match Special, wrote: "I'm currently thinking of hosting a drinks-based event but am stumped about where to hold it.

"Do you think the ICC, with their renowned timing and planning nous, so well demonstrated by staging part of a sunny weather-dependent international sporting competition in Guyana during the rainy season, might be able to find me a suitable brewery?"

The contributor's sarcasm was misplaced however: it was the West Indies Cricket Board, based on applications from its member countries, who selected the venues for the World Twenty20 and not the ICC.