The International Cricket Council’s ‘Cricket Committee’ is preparing to debate to do away with the coin toss before the start of the match. The move is aimed at minimising the home ground advantage to the hosts.
Toss has been an integral part of cricket for 141 years, ever since Australia and England have played the first ever Test at the MCG in March 1877. However, there has been a growing body of opinion that home boards have manipulated conditions to suit their team, adding a disproportionate level of importance to the toss.
The ICC is mulling to abandon the coin toss for matches played as part of the Test Championship. The championship will commence with the 2019 Ashes series in England. The new rule will allow the visiting team the privilege to opt for batting or bowling first.
The ICC Test Championship will feature 9 teams and 27 bilateral series between 2019 and 2021 to determine the ICC Test Champion. The final, slated from June 10 to 14, 2021, will be played between the two top-ranked teams. In the event of a draw, the team leading at the league stage will be declared the winner. The Test Championship will feature Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, Pakistan, New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. However, the schedule does not include India-Pakistan bilateral series. The two team may only meet in the final subject to their qualification.
The playing conditions in the English County Championship since the 2016 season have allowed the visiting teams to choose to bowl first. The toss takes place only if the captain is not able to make his choice.
ESPNCricinfo has also in its report published the briefing notes circulated ahead of the ICC cricket committee meeting at the end of May in Mumbai.