Anyone will know this rule of thumb: the home captain flips the coin high and the visiting team captain calls it either heads or tails. This simple coin toss tradition in any cricket match is most vital before even the game starts. It is from this moment that both teams wish to devour each other’s weaknesses and emerge as winners. You’ll be surprised to know that it all started from the Melbourne Cricket Ground in March 1877!
This 150-year-old spectacle seems to be under speculation. A newly-formed committee of the International Cricket Council (ICC) is contemplating to doing away with the ‘coin toss’ system from the face of Test cricket. Since the Council’s sole aim is to improve the Test Cricket formats, this abandonment, however, favours the visiting captain more.
If the coin toss is scrapped, the visiting captain will be given the option to choose to bat or bowl first – depending on his understanding of the pitch conditions. The home team will have less advantage in cricket if the toss is scrapped.
The ICC committee will also discuss the points system for the upcoming Test championship in England in 2019. In doing so, the 150-year-old tradition will be gone forever, only for the sake of protecting the five-day format! Is this a bad joke, ICC?
A brief note circulated ahead of the ICC’s cricket committee gave an insight which read:
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 committee comprises of former India captain and coach Anil Kumble, Andrew Strauss, Mahela Jayawardene, Rahul Dravid, Tim May, New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White, umpire Richard Kettleborough, ICC match referees’ chief Ranjan Madugalle, Shaun Pollock and Clare Connor.
Since this note was shared, cricket fans have expressed their displeasure and anger on social media. Here are some of their reactions:
What a useless decision
— anup viratian (@AnukulVirat) 17 May 2018
Totally disagree. Feel this would dramatically improve the chances of visitors AND reduce the role of the coin tosses in test match, as the home side prepares pitches that are advantageous if you go second.
— Urthor (@Urthor) 17 May 2018
Will help in doing away wd doctored pitches and exploitation of home advantage
— Sunny Deol Army (@ActionKingAgain) 17 May 2018
What abt Pakistan 🇵🇰 games in UAE, here both the teams r visiting teams 😂😂😂😂
— Buddy (@VK_Buddy14) 17 May 2018
Bookies…. Will be home side….pak and other team.. Are visitors… 😂😂
— antman…. (@154krantii) 17 May 2018
Unfair. Make the pitches better
— Harsimran sandhu (@Harsandhu5982) 17 May 2018
1st day night test than..
10ovr cricket than..
Remove Champions trophy..
and now removing toss frm test cricket this is totally unfair..
ICC on a mission to destroy Cricket @ICC@ICCMediaComms@ICCLive
— Roshan🇮🇳🏏 (@ImRoshanMahi7) 17 May 2018
There Should be toss rule because then home and visiting both teams will know at which venue they will get first and they will be pre-prepared ,
Indirectly there will be toss before some days of match !
Please don’t destroy cricket and it’s excitement…. @ICC
— Sarvesh Surana (@sarvesh_surana) 17 May 2018
Absolute rubbish idea. Both teams get to know the conditions before toss and can pick playing 11 accordingly, this decision is going to favor visiting team.
— Varun Kale (@imvarunkale) 17 May 2018
At least don’t make any changes in traditional games 👏👏
— Manohargaddam (@Manohargaddam4) 17 May 2018
ICC on a mission to destroy Cricket
— shubhamhota (@IamShubhamHota) 17 May 2018
already some teams destroys cricket by making shittest pitch for their sake
— ஜய் tye (@jaiponting10) 17 May 2018
The ICC committee is set to have a meet in Mumbai on May 28 & 29 to debate on this aspect. What’s to be noted is that if the rule changes, it will come into play before the start of the first-ever World Test Championship 2019 and runs through until 2021.