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The Nightwatchman Single Issue #7
Listing # 230295
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Listing Format: Request For Quote
Suggested Price: £7.50
# of bids: 0
Closes: 20 Days, 3 Hours +
Location: UK
Started: 29/10/2017 14:35:45
Ends: 05/11/2018 19:35:00
Listing Agent: Nightwatchman (0)  
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Wisden Year: 9999
Overall Condition: 10


We have teamed up with The Nightwatchman to bring you their publication with 25% off, 

You cannot purhcase the item using the normal WisdenAuction process but the link below will take you directly to their site and if you use promotional code WISAUC25 on check out you will get 25% off.

So it'll be £7.50 not the £10 advertised.

The Nightwatchman Issue 7

Click the Link below to purchase it : 


Sneak Preview....

The making of the man

A good toss to lose

David Franklin pushes cricket’s (sealed) envelope

Anton Chigurh, the villain of Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men, plays a simple game with those unlucky enough to cross his path. One toss of a coin decides their fate: heads they live, tails they die. His brutality is fearsome indeed: a potent cocktail of death and recreation bearing all the hallmarks of a psychopath.

The ICC has come in for criticism of all sorts during its 105-year existence, but no one has so far accused its officials of such cold-blooded malice. And yet there are pitches around the world on which captains, waiting in suspended animation as the coin falls, must see in the shadow of the watching match referee the spectre of Chigurh. Lose the toss, lose the game. No losing captain in today’s media-savvy era would ever go so far as to say that the toss decided the match; plenty, of course, would want to.

The toss has, over the entire history of Test cricket, provided a slight but clear advantage to the winner. Of the 1,397 matches that have produced a winner, 737 of those (53 per cent) were won by the team winning the toss, and 660 (47 per cent) by the team losing it. (This is a statistically significant ratio at the 95 per cent confidence level, suggesting the perceived advantage is unlikely to be the result of natural variance alone.)

Batsmen playing for the team winning the toss have averaged 32.81; those playing for the team losing the toss have averaged 31.40. By multiplying the difference between the two (1.41) by the number of wickets each team has at its disposal in a Test match (20), we can quantify the advantage: winning the toss is worth, on average, 28 runs – or just under one wicket.

The shift towards covered pitches from the 1970s onwards had a significant effect on this figure. In the years between 1877 and 1969, the toss was worth 40 runs on average. With uncovered pitches tending to deteriorate as the game progressed, 89 per cent of captains who won the toss batted first.

Even the 11 per cent brave enough to field first lost more games (26) than they won (23). Nasser Hussain in 2002 was not the first England captain to be fooled by the Brisbane pitch: Len Hutton infamously elected to bowl first in 1954, resulting in the following Wisden match report:

“Nothing went right for the Englishmen… above everything else the whole course of the game probably turned on the decision of Hutton, after winning the toss, to give Australia first innings. Never before had an England captain taken such a gamble in Australia and certainly never before in a Test match had a side replied with a total of 601 after being sent in to bat.”

Since 1970, though, the advantage of winning the toss has fallen from 40 to 24 runs, and the ratio of captains winning the toss and batting first has fallen from 89 per cent to 66 per cent. Importantly, those captains who have won the toss and bowled first have largely been rewarded for their enterprise (Hussain is a notable exception), winning 179 of those games and losing just 150. Captains who have won the toss and batted first have not been rewarded, winning 319 games and losing 318.

The statistics suggest that bowling first is an under-employed strategy in the modern game. Most of the Test matches with a positive result played since 1970 have been won by the side bowling first (497 out of 966), and yet two-thirds of captains in that period have elected to bat.

Figures correct up until June 30, 2014

You can read the full version of this article in issue 7 of The Nightwatchman 



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