CHENNAI: In the history of Test cricket which has seen 2303 matches so far, it has been part of the custom. It is probably the only thing that remains unchanged in international cricket. Irrespective of the format, the toss has been so constant that it is what fans look forward to on the first morning of a Test. A simple flip of the coin, which sets the ball rolling.
But all that is set to change, as the ICC’s cricket committee gets ready to discuss the pros and cons of doing away with the toss when the Test Championship begins after the 2019 World Cup. If this proposal is approved, the visiting captain will decide who bats first. The ICC reckons it is needed to prevent the practice of home teams preparing pitches that suit their strengths.
It is one of the ideas the ICC’s cricket committee comprising eminent names like Anil Kumble, Rahul Dravid, Andrew Strauss, Shaun Pollock and Mahela Jayawardene will consider in a meeting in Mumbai on May 28 and 29 when they decide on the playing conditions for the ICC Test Championship.
It was informally discussed in Kolkata last month, but now it will be part of the agenda. This practice is already in place in county cricket in England from 2016, and former England captains Nasser Hussain and Mike Atherton have been strong advocates of doing away with the toss.
What will happen?
The visiting captain will get to decide hich team bats first
Why is it being done?
To stop teams from gaining unfair home advantage
This would result in teams preparing more neutral pitches than ones that suit them
It is already in place in county cricket