Mitchell Johnson is no fan of the bat toss idea. (AAP Image/Richard Wainwright)
Mitchell Johnson is no fan of the bat toss idea. (AAP Image/Richard Wainwright)

Bash bat toss too much for Mitch

FORMER Test quick Mitchell Johnson has savaged the Big Bash League's "bat toss" gimmick as Brisbane Heat players were divided over the scrapping of a cricket tradition.

The traditional pre-match coin toss will be replaced by a backyard cricket-style bat toss for this summer's BBL as the Twenty20 league looks to innovate.

At the request of Cricket Australia, bat manufacturer Kookaburra has engineered a bat it believes offers a 50-50 chance of landing on "hills" or "flats".

The shortest form of the game is already on edge with cricket purists who believe it is diverting too far from red ball tradition.

Music, fireworks and dance performances are part of the hugely popular BBL already and the bat toss has been met with mixed reactions.

Never afraid to voice his thoughts, Johnson questioned whether more focus should be placed on resurrecting Australia's falling Test team than BBL gimmicks.

Heat captain Chris Lynn will be part of the first bat toss at Brisbane's season-opening game against the Adelaide Strikers at the Gabba next Wednesday.

Surely a coin is less of a health and safety risk? (Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
Surely a coin is less of a health and safety risk? (Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

There is a possibility a big-name former player will perform the inaugural bat toss before it is then taken over by the home captain for each game.

Heat all-rounder Ben Cutting said he was undecided about the toss.

"The old hills and flats in backyard cricket," he said.

"I don't know how I feel about that. That's disrespecting the game of backyard cricket a little bit too much.

"Do you toss it horizontal or spin it vertical? Lynny can do some practice."

Heat batsman Matt Renshaw said he was not certain it would be a 50-50 chance.

"I don't feel like I can believe that, we'll wait for the first game at the Gabba and find out," he said.

"It seems to be what the fans want and is a good new addition to the Big Bash.

"Hopefully it won't be too one-sided towards the hills or valleys.

"I think Lynny should be calling hills, that's what I'd be calling."

The Heat are hoping for a sold-out crowd to kick-off their BBL08 campaign against the Strikers.

News Corp Australia


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