Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

Mitchell Backs New Toss Rule In County Cricket To Help Improve Standard Of Pitches

Mitchell Backs New Toss Rule In County Cricket To Help Improve Standard Of Pitches

Worcestershire skipper Daryl Mitchell welcomes the new 'toss' rule in next summer's County Championship after believing the general standard of pitches has declined in recent seasons.

The ECB has agreed a new regulation on a trial basis for 2016. In Division One and Two fixtures, the visiting captain will be offered the opportunity to bowl first.

If he declines, the toss will take place as normal. If he accepts, there will be no toss.

Mitchell said: "I am for it. It is something I think will work well. I've certainly played in a lot of games in recent years where you think 'this pitch isn't quite ready, this pitch is under-prepared' and the toss has had too much impact on the game and the end result.

"I think if it improves pitches it will be a good thing. I think the quality of pitches has deteriorated, definitely.

"Very much so. You look around the country and see the amount of games that finish in two and a half, three days.

"With all due respect, there are a lot of bowlers around the country who are getting 50,60,70, 80 wickets who bowl medium pace on a length.

"Hopefully now the pitches will be slightly flatter, and people have to work harder for their wickets."

Mitchell added: "I do think wickets starting slightly drier will hopefully bring spinners more into the game as well.

"It is being done for the right reasons and will certainly make things interesting in terms of pitches.

"If it is only for one year, it is worth a try, the same as pink balls in Test cricket. I think it is quite a good move."

Mitchell believes it is right that the regulation applies to both divisions.

He said: "The first I heard of it, it was just going to be in Division Two which I think is probably wrong. In Division One there are arguably more games that mean things because you have got relegation as well.

"You've got three or four teams at the top, three or four at the bottom so virtually every team is playing for something the whole year.

"Whereas in Division Two, if you are not in the mix for promotion, there are probably five or six teams involved in more dead games so people are more likely to try and create result wickets and seamer friendly pitches.

"If it was going to be trialled, it is right to be across the board and if it doesn't work, scrap it but unless you try it and give it a go……..

"I think it will have a reasonable impact on county cricket."