Sydney: Australia’s high-octane Big Bash League (BBL) will break with tradition and do away with the coin toss when its new season starts later this month.
Instead captains will flip a bat, calling “hills” or “flats” rather than heads or tails.
“For me it’s a great moment which reflects what BBL is about,” Kim McConnie, Cricket Australia’s head of the Big Bash League said on the competition’s website.
“Some people don’t like change but I’d also challenge people to say when was the last time anyone watched the coin toss or really focused on it to a great extent?
“Now we are making it much more relevant to families, we are creating a moment which is much more fitting with kids.”
Australia’s Twenty20 BBL has steadily gained traction since it was launched eight years ago with the fast-paced, family-friendly competition attracting big crowds and strong television ratings.
It has always tried to innovate and was the tournament that first introduced Zings flashing stumps, which light up when the bails are dislodged.
They are now are used in international matches.
McConnie dismissed concerns over the fairness of the bat-flipping process.
“I’ve got it from great authority at our (bat-maker) Kookaburra friends that this is a tested and weighted bat to deliver that equity,” she said.
The new BBL season starts on December 19 and runs through till February 17, featuring eight teams. Adelaide Strikers are the defending champions.