At the beginning of the 2016 domestic cricket season, a new rule was brought in relating to the coin toss – the traditional way to decide whether a team bats or bowls first.
For the first season ever, away teams automatically had the right to bowl first and there was only a coin toss in the event that they would prefer to try to bat first.
Now, Steve Rhodes, Worcestershire’s director of cricket, has hailed the rule change as a “huge success” in an interview with the Bromsgrove Advertiser.
“You’ve only got to look back at the two divisions and how competitive they were,” Rhodes stated.
The rule change was introduced for a number of reasons, one of which was to improve the quality of the pitches in county matches, something that Rhodes believes has been achieved.
Another reason for the change was the desire within the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to develop better spin bowlers at county level to give the national side a stronger bowling arsenal.
Rhodes added: “The best way of preparing players for that is to play on better wickets in county cricket.”
The Worcestershire director is not the only person in English cricket to believe that the trial has been a success. Earlier this month, the ECB ratified the decision to continue the toss rule into the 2017 cricket season.
According to the organisation, 10,094 overs of spin were played this season, compared to 8,643 in 2016; and a total of 843 cricket wickets were taken by spin bowlers, as opposed to 752 in 2015.