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Duckworth–Lewis proposes method to help India topple Australia from CWG medals tally

14, Oct 2010 By Pagal Patrakar

New Delhi. This is already India’s best ever Commonwealth Games performance, but if a proposal by English statisticians Frank Duckworth and Tony Lewis is accepted, India could end up toppling Australia and finishing at the top of the medals tally of the 19th Commonwealth Games that concludes today.

In a closed-door presentation made to the CWG Organizing Committee yesterday, Duckworth–Lewis are reported to have presented a complex mathematical formula that predicts the performance of a cricketer if he were playing some other sports.

“It’s just an extension of our earlier formula that predicted how a team would have performed if rains had not stopped a cricket match,” informed Frank Duckworth, “we had always wished to apply our formula in other sporting events, whether played by teams or individuals.”

In an exclusive interview to Faking News, Duckworth–Lewis disclosed that they had originally developed formulae for various sporting events that were part of the Commonwealth Games after they read news on how rains were affecting preparations for the games and how Delhi was just about to get submerged in flood waters.

“From whatever news we got before the games, we were damn sure that either rains or broken stadiums would definitely impede all the sporting events,” said Tony Lewis, “say, a 400 meters race would be stopped midway due to an athlete falling in a pothole or tracks getting submerged in rains or Yamuna water released suddenly by Haryana.”

“Our original formula would have predicted the top three athletes winning that race had rains or faulty stadium not stopped it,” Lewis informed about their original idea for determining medal winners for CWG events in the same way as their formula has been determining match-winners in ODIs and T20s in cricket for nearly 10 years now.

Indian Cricket Team after winning Border Gavaskar Tropy
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But their plans fell flat as Delhi stopped getting rains a few days prior to the opening of the Commonwealth Games; this led the statistician duo to think of alternative ideas and they decided to develop a formula that could predict the performance of a cricketer if he were playing other sports.

“We realized that cricket involved some skills and activities that were quite similar to those in other sporting events upon which we had worked in the last few weeks,” Frank Duckworth explained, “for example, a shy at the stumps is similar to archery or shooting, while a throw from the deep towards the wicketkeeper is similar to shot put or discus throw.”

“Not to mention that running between wickets is definitely similar to track running events and hitting the ball with bat has elements of hockey, badminton and tennis,” Frank added, justifying their attempts to correlate cricket and other sporting events through their latest formula.

In their latest and reworked proposal, Duckworth–Lewis have proposed to apply this formula on the recently concluded Border-Gavaskar Trophy between India and Australia, which was comprehensively won by India, and convert the cricketing actions into CWG medals. The statistician duo conceded that India had a big advantage.

“India outplayed Australia in all departments of the game, and the results would be no different when they are converted from cricket into CWG events,” informed Tony Lewis.

Though he refused to give the exact breakup of the CWG medals once their formula is applied on the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, he disclosed that India would beat Australia hands down and make up for the current gap in the CWG medals tally.

“With players like Sreesanth and Harbhajan, India would end up winning medals even in artistic and rhythmic gymnastics events where Australia doesn’t stand a chance,” Lewis explained why India would thrash Australia even in the CWG medals tally.

According to sources, CWG Organizing Committee is quite upbeat about implementing the latest Duckworth–Lewis method, because more medals for India would mean muffled criticisms of their earlier mismanagement once the games are over.

The Organizing Committee has given their in-principle consent to the proposal but there is a flip side to it. Once the method is applied, India and Australia would have to forego the cricketing records made in the recent Border-Gavaskar Trophy, which includes a double-century by Sachin Tendulkar and a magnificent fight back by Indian team lead by VVS Laxman.

“While Cricket Australia might agree to the proposal, we don’t think BCCI or the Indian public will agree to it; their standards are different from our standards,” Secretary General of the CWG OC, Lalit Bhanot said in a pensive mood.