Toss-less Tests: No harm in experimenting, says Miandad

The former Pakistan captain said such a move would force the home team to prepare better pitches instead of focusing on preparing tracks that suit them.

Another former Pakistan captain, Salim Malik, said the International Cricket Council (ICC) should not tinker with the traditions of the game.   -  SANDEEP SAXENA

Former Pakistan captain Javed Miandad has backed the proposal to eliminate toss from Test cricket.

While Miandad said such a move would force the home team to prepare better pitches instead of focusing on preparing tracks that suit them, another former captain, Salim Malik, said the International Cricket Council (ICC) should not tinker with the traditions of the game.

"I don’t see any harm in trying out this experiment of abolishing the toss," Miandad told PTI.

"It might ultimately lead to matches, particularly Test cricket, being played on good standard pitches," he said even as the ICC’s cricket committee meets in Mumbai later this month to debate on the subject.

The committee, however, can only make recommendations to the ICC chief executives committee.

Miandad, a veteran of 124 Tests and 233 ODIs, said there was no harm in experimenting, especially if it led to better results.

"Toss has always been an integral part of cricket but times are changing and one needs to try out new things to make the sport more attractive and better," he said.

He pointed out that in recent years, home sides had resorted to preparing sub-standard and one-sided pitches to gain advantage and win matches against touring sides.

"In recent times, we have seen Pakistan win in UAE conditions where pitches are low bounced and slow and then go and struggle in Australia or New Zealand. The answer is to ensure they are good quality pitches wherever cricket is played."

But Malik, who was banned for life in 2000 for his involvement in match-fixing, reckons that the flip of the coin made the game more interesting.

"It allows one to judge the wisdom and worth of a captain. Decisions made at the toss eventually shape the result of a match. Why abolish the toss, why not make it mandatory to have international curators like an elite panel of umpires and referees," he asked.

"Doing away with the toss or reducing Test matches to four days is not the answer. One should not tinker with the traditional spirit of cricket," he added.