Out for a Duck…

23 11 2008

Whilst listening to Five Live on the way home from work today, I became increasingly frustrated as we received updates from the fourth one-day international between India and England. This match is an important one for England as they need to win it to stay in the series. Due to various weather problems, the match had been reduced to 22 overs each. No problem thus far.

India, batting first, had had their innings disrupted due to the poor Indian weather. They posted 166-4 off their allocated overs. This therefore set England a target of 167 to win. This was a distinctly makable target for England, who, at the time of writing are on 131-3 after 16 overs. This means they would need 30 odd runs off six overs. This would be fine, except that the crazy Duckworth-Lewis rule means that England are actually chasing 198. This means that they need a much more demanding 60 odd runs from the same amount of overs

The Duckworth-Lewis is one of the most contentious rules in sport. Designed to create a result in the event of inclement weather, it’s authority has never really been questioned. No-one really gets how it works, and no-one really questions the targets that are set. I feel that it is about time that this rule is looked at. The sport means a lot to a lot of people, not least the players and coaching staff who potentially have their jobs on the line (there are various calls from some sections of the media for various players heads following a series of poor performances). If England lose this game they lose the series. The Duckworth-Lewis rule has made it very likely that England will either draw or lose the match, it is virtually impossible for England to win. It is time that this rule was looked at in some detail by those in the power within cricket.

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