England cricket bosses last night decreed that the age-old and mandatory pre-match coin toss will be scrapped in both divisions of the County Championship next season.
The aim of the proposal is to produce better and more consistent pitches in domestic red-ball cricket, lessen the significance of winning the toss and help the future development of spin bowlers.
“The visiting captain will be offered the opportunity of bowling first,” read an England and Wales Cricket Board [ECB] statement yesterday. “If he declines, the toss will take place as normal. But if he accepts, there will be no toss.
“There has been concern for some years about some Championship pitches. But it is fair to say that the plight of spin bowling in this country brought things into focus.”
The chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board’s cricket committee, Peter Wright, has confirmed that any decision on whether the trial would be extended beyond 2016 would be taken at the end of the campaign.
Initially, it was suggested that the trial of scrapping the toss would be limited to Division Two. City A.M. cricket columnist Chris Tremlett was among those to argue that the proposal should incorporate both divisions.
“While I’m in favour of the proposal, I cannot see why it is set to the trialled in Division Two only,” he wrote on Thursday. “It is almost mocking the standard of Division Two. Why not implement it in both divisions?”