ICC could 'toss out' coin toss at start of cricket matches to ensure 'even playing field'

The toss of coin has been a part of international cricket since the very first Test, between England and Australia in 1877 to decide which of the two competing teams get to bowl or bat first. The coin is flipped by the home captain and the call is made by the visiting skipper.

PTI, May 17, 2018

New Delhi: Should international cricket 'toss away' the toss to ensure an even playing field? The relevance or rather the fairness of the tradition, which is as old as the game itself, will be up for discussion at the International Cricket Council's cricket committee meeting scheduled on 28 and 29 May in Mumbai.

"Test cricket's fundamental starting point may be scrapped, as the ICC's cricket committee prepares to debate whether or not the coin toss should be removed as a way of reducing home ground advantage in the looming Test Championship," ESPNCricinfo reported on Thursday.

File photo of Alastair Cook and Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Reuters

Representational image. Image courtesy: Twitter @bcci

The toss of coin has been a part of international cricket since the very first Test, between England and Australia in 1877 to decide which of the two competing teams get to bowl or bat first. The coin is flipped by the home captain and the call is made by the visiting skipper.

But its relevance has been questioned in recent past with critics saying that the practice was resulting in unfair advantage to host teams.

"There is serious concern about the current level of home team interference in Test pitch preparation, and more than one committee member believes that the toss should be automatically awarded to the visiting team in each match, although there are some others on the committee who do not share that view," the website quoted a letter, which has been sent to all the panel members, as saying.

The toss was done away with in the 2016 County Championships and even in India, there was a proposal to get rid of the norm in the domestic circuit but it was shot down.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had claimed that matches lasted longer due to the move and led to a more even contest between bat and ball.

The ICC cricket committee features former India captain and coach Anil Kumble, Andrew Strauss, Mahela Jayawardene, Rahul Dravid, Tim May, the New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White, the umpire Richard Kettleborough, ICC match referees chief Ranjan Madugalle, Shaun Pollock and Clare Connor.

The position of coaches' representative is currently lying vacant in the panel after incumbent Darren Lehmann was ruled out owing to his resignation as Australia coach in the aftermath of the ball-tampering scandal.

The critics of toss such as West Indian great Michael Holding and former Australian skipper Steve Waugh believes that it encourages home teams to make pitches of their liking, putting visiting sides at a disadvantage.

Updated Date: May 17, 2018

T20 LEAGUE POINTS TABLE

Pos. Team P W L D Pts.
1
Hyderabad
14 9 5 0 18
2
Chennai
14 9 5 0 18
3
Kolkata
14 8 6 0 16
4
Rajasthan
14 7 7 0 14
5
Mumbai
14 6 8 0 12
6
Bangalore
14 6 8 0 12
7
Punjab
14 6 8 0 12
8
Delhi
14 5 9 0 10




Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3499 125
2 South Africa 3589 112
3 Australia 3499 106
4 New Zealand 2354 102
5 England 3511 98
6 Sri Lanka 2914 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 5257 125
2 India 5492 122
3 South Africa 3842 113
4 New Zealand 4602 112
5 Australia 3327 104
6 Pakistan 3279 102
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 2990 130
2 Australia 1894 126
3 India 3932 123
4 New Zealand 2542 116
5 England 1951 115
6 South Africa 2058 114