Months after introducing amendments in cricket rules, the International Cricket Council (ICC) will be holding discussions on scrapping the practice of coin toss in Test cricket. With the intent to remove unfair advantage to the host team during a bilateral series, this topic will be debated at the ICC’s cricket committee meeting scheduled on May 28 and 29 in Mumbai.
According to several media reports, the relevance of the coin toss has been questioned in recent past by the critics. Hence 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.
Back in 2016, the coin toss was waived off during the County Championships. Later, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) claimed that this move resulted in games lasting longer, leading to a more even contest.
As learned from an espncricinfo report, a letter has been sent to all the panel members on this matter. It said,
“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 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.
If this new rule gets implemented then the visiting captain would be given the choice to either bat or ball first ahead of the game.
The tradition of coin toss has been a part of the game of cricket since the first-ever Test was played between England and Australia in 1877. In India, it was proposed to get rid of the norm in the domestic circuit but the efforts were always shot down.