Cricketer Stokes to test his F1 skills in virtual GP

LONDON - England cricketer Ben Stokes will test his driving skills against five Formula One drivers, including Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, in the sport’s second virtual grand prix this weekend. The World Cup winning all-rounder will team up with Thai racer Alexander Albon in the Red Bull lineup for his first esports competition. McLaren’s Lando Norris and the Williams pairing of George Russell and Nicholas Latifi will also be competing along with retired British grand prix winner and TV pundit Johnny Herbert. The virtual race is the second in a new series organised by Formula One to provide some light entertainment in the absence of any real life action due to the coronavirus pandemic. Norris and Latifi were the only current F1 drivers to compete in the first race. Formula One’s March 15 Australian season-opener was cancelled, along with May’s Monaco showcase, with six other rounds postponed to date. The sport hopes to start a reduced season of 15-18 races from the European summer, although any timetable remains provisional. Sunday’s 28 lap race, with the 20 drivers joining remotely from their homes, will be staged on a virtual version of Melbourne’s Albert Park on a weekend originally reserved for the inaugural Vietnam Grand Prix. The Hanoi street circuit is not yet available on the 2019 official F1 video game. The first race of the new series was held two weeks ago on a virtual Bahrain circuit and was won by Renault’s Chinese test driver Guanyu Zhou. Stokes is sponsored by Red Bull, who fielded Britain’s six times cycling Olympic gold medallist Chris Hoy in the first race along with Austrian touring car driver Philipp Eng. Russell, who has installed a gaming rig at his parent’s house, said he was looking forward to the challenge.

Duckworth-Lewis co-inventor Tony Lewis dies, aged 78

LONDON - Tony Lewis, co-inventor of the Duckworth-Lewis method for settling weather-affected cricket matches, has died aged 78. Former university lecturer Lewis, together with mathematician Frank Duckworth, devised the formula that was first used in match between Zimbabwe and England in 1997 and adopted by the International Cricket Council (ICC) in 1999. “It is with much sadness that the ECB has learned of the passing of Tony Lewis MBE. Our thoughts are with Tony’s family,” the England and Wales Cricket Board said on Twitter. “Cricket is deeply indebted to both Tony and Frank’s contributions to the sport.” The ICC also expressed its “sadness” at the news. How to create a fair run chase in weather-hit limited overs cricket matches had stumped authorities for years. At the 1992 World Cup things reached a head in the semi-final when South Africa’s target of 22 runs from 13 balls remaining was re-calculated to 22 runs off one ball.

“I recall hearing (BBC commentator) Christopher Martin-Jenkins on radio saying, ‘Surely someone, somewhere, could come up with something better,’ and I realised that it was a mathematical problem that required a mathematical solution,” Duckworth said in an interview in 2007. The Duckworth-Lewis method is an algorithmic solution that calculates a new target for a batting team based on its ‘resources’, namely wickets and overs in hand. Since 2014 the method has been known as the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern (DLS) method after Australian professor Steven Stern became the custodian of the system, and made some tweaks to counter modern scoring rates, after the retirements of Duckworth and Lewis who were both awarded MBEs in 2010.