English county season began today with six matches being played across Division 1 and Divison 2. The matches will be played over a course of four days. But the biggest change has been the scrapping on the toss – or, well. almost.
The oldest tradition in cricket where one of the captain’s picks heads or tails and then chooses whether to bat or bowl has been dropped in order to promote spin bowling in English cricket and increase the quality of pitches in use. In effect, the away team captain now has the option to either bowl or go for the toss.
Today, that rule came into effect with Warwickshire’s Ian Bell opting to bowl first against Hampshire.
— County Championship (@CountyChamp) 10 April 2016
Across the board, all three matches in Divison One started without the toss while two matches in Division Two saw the toss with one matches yet to begin. In Division One, Somerset, Warwickshire and Surrey opted to bowl against Durham, Hampire and Nottinghamshire. In Division Two, visitors Gloucestershire wanted to bat and went for the coin and it came out in their favour against Essex. However, Sussex evaded the toss and opted to bowl first against Northants.
Interestingly, Durham’s Paul Collingwood had the coin in his pocket as a just in case!