Toss to stay - Anil Kumble-led ICC Cricket Committee gives its verdict
The Anil Kumble-led ICC Cricket Committee has decided that toss will continue to be an integral part of Test matches, which means that the tradition will continue during the World Test Championship which starts in July 2019 as well.
There were recommendations internally in the ICC that as the home teams have always had an advantage over the visitors and with the Test Championship only a year away, the tradition of toss can be discontinued and instead, the visiting team can be given the right to choose to even out the playing surface.
However, the committee which also comprises former players such as Rahul Dravid, Andrew Strauss, Shaun Pollock, Mike Gatting, Mahela Jayawardene and David Boon came to the conclusion that the game cannot do without the toss. They recommended that the home teams should prepare pitches which would ensure that the balance between ball and bat is maintained.
“The committee discussed whether the toss should be automatically awarded to the visiting team but felt that it was an integral part of Test cricket which forms part of the narrative of the game,” the ICC stated in a release.
“Acknowledging that the preparation of Test pitches that could provide a risk to the competitiveness of the ICC World Test Championship, the Committee urged Members to continue to focus on the delivery of pitches that provide a better balance between bat and ball in line with ICC regulations.”
No points for series win; draw worth one-third of available points in Test Championship
The committee also decided that the teams won't be awarded points for a series win and that a draw would get the teams one-third of the maximum points as well. For example, if a team earns six points for a win, it would then get two points for a draw. ICC hasn't made a decision on the point system yet but an update on the same can be expected soon.
"Based on the principle of simplicity and every match needing to count, the committee recommended that points should only be awarded for each match and not a series win. As part of this, it was proposed that there was a draw-win ratio of 0.33:1, so a draw gives each team a third of the available points."
Recommendations on player-behaviour and tampering
Player-behaviour and ball tampering were one of the chief points of discussion as well and the group concluded that there need to be more severe punishments for such offences.
ICC Cricket Committee Chairman Anil Kumble said: “We had an excellent discussion around the issue of player behaviour and I’d like to thank Mike Gatting and David Boon for joining us and making valuable contributions.
“The Committee echoed the sentiments of the ICC Chief Executives’ Committee and the ICC Board, and, as such, we have made a series of recommendations as part of the creation of a culture of respect we can all adhere to.
“The group felt that excessive personal abuse and ball tampering were serious offences in the game and that should be reflected in the way in which they are dealt with. There was also strong support for giving the match officials more authority and subsequently greater support around their decision making.”
The recommendations regarding the same include the following,
- Giving greater authority and support to match officials
- Greater leadership accountability for Boards and team support staff
- Clear expectations for the treatment of visiting teams particularly around practice facilities, warm-up matches and logistical arrangements
- Greater education for all young players on the history and spirit of the game
- Raising the sanctions associated with ball tampering
- Creating a new offence for offensive, personal, insulting, offensive or orchestrated abuse
- The consideration of the introduction of a new offence of attempting to gain an unfair advantage
- Creating a Code of Respect
- Match referee to have the authority to downgrade or upgrade a level of offence or sanction