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Frank Duckworth, Renowned English Statistician, Passes Away

Frank Duckworth, the English statistician who co-invented the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern (DLS) method for determining cricket match results under rain-affected conditions, died at 84 on June 21. The DLS method, introduced in 1997, is widely used in international cricket and was formally adopted by the ICC in 2001.

About Frank Duckworth

Duckworth was born in 1939 in Lytham St Annes, Lancashire. He attended King Edward VII School, Lytham, now part of King Edward VII and Queen Mary School, then went on to study physics (BSc Hons 1961) and earned a PhD (1965) in metallurgy, both at the University of Liverpool. Prior to his retirement, he worked as a mathematical scientist for the English nuclear power industry.

Worked as a consultant statistician

He was a consultant statistician to the International Cricket Council, and the editor of the Royal Statistical Society’s monthly news magazine, RSS News, until he retired from both these roles in 2014. He also served on the editorial board of Significance before stepping down in 2010. In 2004 he delivered the Royal Statistical Society Schools Lecture, entitled Lies and Statistics. In 1962, Duckworth was a tenant of John Lennon’s aunt. Duckworth is also known for developing a system of quantifying personal risk perception, now known as the “Duckworth scale”.

His achievements

Duckworth was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2010 Birthday Honours for services to the Royal Statistical Society and to Cricket.

What is DLS Method?

The Duckworth–Lewis–Stern method (DLS) is a mathematical formulation designed to calculate the target score (number of runs needed to win) for the team batting second in a limited overs cricket match interrupted by weather or other circumstances. The method was devised by two English statisticians, Frank Duckworth and Tony Lewis, and was formerly known as the Duckworth–Lewis method (D/L). It was introduced in 1997, and adopted officially by the ICC in 1999. The DLS method employs complex statistical analysis, considering multiple variables such as wickets remaining and overs lost, to determine a fair revised target for the team batting second in truncated games.

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