Why would one alter the century-old tradition of the coin toss at the start of a cricket match? The ICC’s cricket committee seems to be keen on debating the idea of doing away with the toss in Test cricket – a format which is fast losing its sheen in the era of short and fast cricket matches. As a result, the tradition which began way back in March 1877, seems to be under real threat of being terminated.
The need of ending the tradition arose in light of concerns surrounding home teams unfairly using the familiar conditions to their advantage. A coin toss is often considered to benefit the home advantage in Test matches. Winning the toss allows the home team to take a call based on conditions familiar to them and often helps them wrest an early initiative in the game – thereby running the risk of making the game a one-sided affair.
That is why writing off this system has become a hotly-debated topic these days. It is to be noted that concerns surrounding the significance of a coin toss to decide issues have been raised in case of issues outside the sphere of sports as well.
The issue of the coin toss is being debated by coaches, match-referees, umpires, and of course, cricketers. For some, the idea of ending the tradition of coin toss is unpardonable; for several others, it is simply a matter of convenience. In this context, the ex-Australian coach Darren Lehmann suggested giving the visiting cricket team the basic choice to either bat or bowl.
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