Toss could go for 'a toss' from Test cricket
In what can be viewed as the most radical change in Test cricket, the International Cricket Council (ICC) is apparently preparing to hold a debate on whether or not the coin toss should be done away with from Test matches.
If reports filtering out from ICC parleys have flavour to it, this step could well be taken to level the playing field by allowing the visiting captains to decide what they want to do before a match commences.
This step comes on the back of disconcerting occurrences of home boards trying to tamper with the playing conditions by 'doctoring' pitches to suit the strengths of the home team. While it is no crime to play according to your strengths, there have been matches where the discrepancy between the teams seem far too wide and it all boils down to the rather extreme nature of the playing surface.
"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," reported ESPNCricinfo.
The ICC's cricket committee meeting which is slated to be held in Mumbai on May 28 and 29 will take up the matter and then a viable solution will be figured out.
It has to be mentioned here that this format is already in place in the English County Championship from 2016 where the visiting team can choose to bowl first, followed by a coin toss if the captain is not too worked up about the nature of the pitch.
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have also claimed that owing to this move matches went on for a longer duration due to a more level playing field between bat and ball.
The committee includes 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.
Also, there will be one representative from the current International coaches, the position of which is currently lying vacant due to the resignation of Darren Lehmann.