CommBank T20I Series v Sri Lanka
Lanning ropes in 'specialist coin tosser' to flip fortunes
The Australia captain successfully utilised her teammate at the toss during the opening T20 against Sri Lanka on Sunday
29 September 2019, 02:44 PM AEST
Meg Lanning has employed an unusual method in her mission to turn around her poor coin toss record, enlisting wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy as a “specialist coin tosser” for the opening T20I at North Sydney Oval.
Lanning, who won just one toss on Australia’s recent tour of the West Indies, handed the coin to Healy, who did the honours.
The unusual move worked and after Sri Lanka captain Chamari Athapaththu incorrectly called heads, a triumphant Healy raised her arms in celebration as Lanning elected to bat first.
Australia will BAT first at North Sydney Oval after fill-in coin tosser Alyssa Healy correctly calls tails. Meg Lanning might not be getting her job back! #AUSvSL pic.twitter.com/0QIY9FJfwa— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) September 29, 2019
The Australian captain had hinted she might hand over the coin toss duties to a teammate during the Caribbean tour and made good on the promise at North Sydney Oval.
"I’m not sure if you’ve heard but I’ve got a pretty bad record with the coin toss, so Alyssa Healy’s been talking herself up and she’s delivered," Lanning told Andy Maher on Channel Seven’s coverage.
While Lanning’s record with the coin has left plenty to be desired, it’s had little impact on Australia’s results.
The world No.1 ranked Australians have lost just three T20Is since the start of 2018, winning a T20 World Cup and the Ashes along the way.
It’s not the first time a captain has called on a specialist coin tosser in international cricket.
In a T20 against Zimbabwe in October last year, South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis sent JP Duminy, who wasn't even playing in the match, out to the middle in a bid to snap a six-game losing streak at the toss.
The bold move proved effective as Duminy won the toss – and the Proteas subsequently won the series.
He later wrote on social media: "I love what I do, important to have some fun along the way as well, especially in t20 cricket!! Might have started something here..."
Du Plessis’ move had caught Lanning’s attention at the time – after seeing the South African’s social media post, she was quick to tag Healy.
"I wish I’d known this was allowed a long time ago... You’ve got the job!" she wrote to Healy.
There's nothing in the games regulations or Laws that expressly prohibits the captain handing off the coin toss.
The ICC's playing regulations mandate the time of the coin toss, and that is has to be done on the field of play and under the supervision of the ICC Match Referee, but they also allow for a deputy to act for the captain if they are "not available".