No more coin toss in BBL shake-up

Bat flip to replace traditional method for eighth edition of the Big Bash League

The coin toss in the KFC Big Bash League is no more.

Instead captains will face a decision between ‘hills’ and ‘flats’ - or 'roofs' and 'flats' - with a bat flip to replace the traditional method when the eighth edition of the Twenty20 competition starts on December 19.

"For me it's a great moment which reflects what BBL is about," Cricket Australia's head of the Big Bash League, Kim McConnie, told the ABC.

"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."

McConnie waved away 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.

Kookaburra’s Head of Communications Shannon Gill said: “The BBL charged our bat-maker, Lachlan Dinger, with the job of coming up with a bat that was of symmetrical weight.

“While Lachie is used to making custom bats with all sorts of requests for Usman Khawaja, Tim Paine and Alyssa Healy, this was quite a leftfield challenge!”

“Lachie has done the job though, and Kookaburra is excited to be part of a concept that will stir childhood memories of cricket in the backyard, schoolyard or on the beach.”  

The away team captain will call out their preferred side of the bat as it is being tossed and it must complete at least one full rotation.

Backyard cricketers have become accustomed to flipping a bat to decide who will bat or bowl first.

But at the professional level, tossing a coin pre-match has always been in place.

However, it has become optional in first-class county matches in England, where the visiting captain can opt to bowl first if he wishes. But he must still rely on the way the coin lands if he wishes to bat.

It was reported in May that next year’s Ashes could be the guinea-pig series if a proposal to remove the coin toss for all matches in the International Cricket Council's new Test championship is given the green light.

The visiting captain would be given the option of whether to bat or bowl first in a move to address concerns relating to the imbalance between home and away teams.

Former Australia skipper Allan Border and South Africa captain Africa captain Faf du Plessis have called for a trial run of Test cricket without the coin toss, while Australia great Adam Gilchrist has supported the tradition continuing.

Brisbane Heat will face defending champions Adelaide Strikers in the opening match of the BBL season.