England and Wales Cricket Board to discuss abolishing toss to reduce home advantage

LONDON, (Reuters) – A proposal to abolish the pre-match toss deciding which team bats first will be discussed at a meeting of the England and Wales Cricket Board on Thursday.

But contrary to reports, ECB source told Reuters that the away team captain would only be given the opportunity to bowl first, not bat first.

If they did not want to bowl, the toss would take place as normal.

The move would, however, end a tradition that dates back to the first laws of the sport, drawn up in the 1740s.

It has already been approved by the ECB cricket committee and if approved on Thursday, a one-season experiment will take place next year in the second division of the county championship.

The idea is to help prevent home teams producing pitches that favour their own bowlers, and try to ensure more games last the full four days, giving greater opportunity to spin bowlers.

Any experiment would be carefully monitored in other countries before consideration was given to extending it to other competitions.

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