By Duminda A
The ICC needs to ensure greater transparency during the coin toss to avoid a repeat of what happened at the SCG yesterday.
Consider the following: Australian Captain Michael Clarke intentionally tossed the coin a good 15 feet away from where he and Sri Lankan counterpart Angelo Mathews stood.
Match Referee Jeff Crowe had to walk away from the captains and motioned that it was ‘tails’ meaning that Clarke had won the toss.
Mathews was slow to react to try to walk over to the coin but in any case, Crowe would have called it before he got there.
It needs to be asked why the coin cannot be tossed to where the two captains stand. Why was Crowe the only person to see which way the coin had fallen? And why doesn’t StarTV/ICC show viewers which side the coin had fallen as they did in the past?
The latter makes no sense at a time when the ICC has come up with a variety of gimmicks, the latest being high tech bails, to ensure greater involvement and interactivity with the viewing public. In a key match, millions of dollars are bet on the toss by bookies in the subcontinent and the ultimate result could be heavily influenced by who ‘wins’ the toss.
Australia had been terrified of losing this match as it would mean a quarterfinal clash with South Africa, followed by a semifinal against New Zealand at Eden Park, Auckland, a venue at which the Kiwis had already beaten their larger neighbours.
In future, the ICC should ensure that the coin on the ground is viewed by both captains as well as the public at home, a practice that was followed until a few years ago. Small market teams with limited resources like Sri Lanka already have enough things to worry about. The toss shouldn’t be one of them.