Is Allan Donald right to want to restore the coin toss for county cricket?

The St Lawrence Ground in Canterbury (stock image)

Turn up at the home side’s ground. Bowl them out cheaply. Set the platform for an easy victory. And hey presto you walk away with an easy win.

That, apparently, is what’s going through the minds’ of visiting captains and coaches on the county championship circuit this summer without a coin toss to start the game.

Kent have seen both sides of the non-existent coin: a humiliating loss to Gloucestershire in the season opener at the St Lawrence Ground in Canterbury when they were bowled out for 64.

They then meted out the same punishment to Durham in their second game at Chester-le-Street, bowling the home side out for 91 before coasting to victory.

But Kent’s assistant coach Allan Donald is critical of the system introduced in 2016 which allows the visiting team to choose what they want to do.

Allan Donald, Kent assistant coach

The South African told newsmen: “I’m of view that if you win the toss you should do what you need to do rather than rocking up knowing you are going to bowl.

“I understand what the ECB are trying to do, but it doesn’t produce bowlers for Test cricket.

“We sat down with Cricket South Africa and formulated that it should be played on proper Test cricket pitches.”

Donald added that when the system was tried in South Africa it deprived of bowlers of the capacity to think because they were able to exploit favourable conditions rather than having to work hard to bowl players out.

Former England coach Andy Flower is also no fan of the uncontested toss.

He said: “The pitches are a real problem. Spin bowlers don’t develop because the medium pacers bowl their overs and batsmen are not exposed to quality spin.

“But when you get to international cricket, the pitches are completely different, and the qualities that proved successful in county cricket will be of little use. Dibbly-dobbly bowlers are not going to win you test matches.”


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