Former Australian captain Steve Waugh may have backed Ricky Ponting and WI's Michael Holding to do away with the toss in cricket, but the idea is unlikely to be favoured, according to the MCC (Marylebone Cricket Club), custodians of cricket law since its formation in 1787. "I don't mind avoiding the toss, I think that's not such a bad thing," Waugh said recently.

Steve Waugh
Steve Waugh 

'An integral part'
The idea, however, has not gone well with the authorities. "MCC feel that 'the toss' is an integral part of a game of cricket, and that, since the Laws of Cricket apply to every game at every level throughout the world, the Club is most unlikely to change the Law in dispensing with the toss," Mark Williams, the Laws of Cricket Advisor said from Lord's in London.

"Law 12.4 (the toss) includes: 'The captains shall toss for the choice of innings'. Therefore, under the Law, a toss must take place to determine the choice of innings, and the captains may not dispense with it.

The idea of allowing the visiting captain the choice of innings in international cricket is a novel one, and seems to be in response to suggestions that home authorities are specifically asking the groundsmen to produce pitches which favour the home side.

"The argument follows that, if the visiting captain automatically has choice of innings, such pitches would be less likely to occur, leading to closer and more even matches," he added.