London, Nov 27 (IANS) The mandatory coin toss will will get a makeover in the County Championship next season, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has confirmed.
The change is effective in both divisions and aims to encourage better pitches for four-day cricket.
“The visiting captain will be offered the opportunity of bowling first. If he declines, the toss will take place as normal. But if he accepts, there will be no toss,” ECB said in a statement on Thursday.
The recommendation came from ECB’s cricket committee which includes ECB chief executive Tom Harrison, England team director Andrew Strauss and former England coach Andy Flower. The committee’s chairman Peter Wright said a decision on whether to extend the trial would be taken at the end of the 2016 season.
Wright also said the decision was partly motivated about concern over the development of English spin bowlers.
“There has been concern for some years about some Championship pitches. But it is fair to say that the plight of spin bowling in this country brought things into focus,” he said.
“Figures showing spinners bowled only 21.5 percent of the overs in the 2015 Championship were presented to the committee and we have come to the conclusion that the only way to bring spin bowlers more into the game is to provide better pitches for them to bowl on,” he said.
England’s limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan said the move may benefit the game long-term.
“If it’s to improve the standard of wickets that we play on, and potentially produce a couple of wickets where spin might be conducive to that particular ground, absolutely,” Morgan said.