Visitors bowl first no toss rule kept by ECB for 2017 Championship season

The visiting captain’s option of avoiding the toss and bowling first in County Championship matches will continue throughout the 2017 season.

The ECB have deemed the 2016 trial a success in improving better pitches and providing greater opportunities for spin bowlers.

An ECB Cricket Committee based their decision on statistics that showed that 10,094 overs of spin were bowled in 2016. That was the highest number since 2011 and compared to 8,643 in 2015.

“In many ways the statistics merely reinforced the feeling we had been picking up around the game throughout the summer, that the experiment was working in beginning to rebalance the game,” said Peter Wright, the chairman of the Cricket Committee. “As we stressed when we introduced the new options for visiting captains, this was not all about spin. We wanted matches to last longer, and to become more thorough preparation for international cricket.

“That meant better, four-day pitches, which would mean bowlers had to work harder to take wickets, and would encourage a greater variety of bowling, whether spin in its various forms, genuine pace or reverse swing from more abrasive pitches.”

The Cricket Committee also included Yorkshire’s director of cricket Martyn Moxon, Leicestershire’s chief executive Wasim Khan and David Leatherdale, the chief executive of the PCA.

 

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