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Giles doubtful visiting teams will opt to bowl first under new coin flip rule.

ASHLEY GILES is not expecting too many visiting captains to put Lancashire in to bat on the opening morning of County Championship matches at Emirates Old Trafford this season.

A change of rules means away team skippers can opt to bowl first without a toss - and in the opening round of fixtures this week that's exactly what happened in five of the six matches across the two divisions.

If the visiting captain declines, then the toss goes ahead as normal.

The change has been made in a bid to improve pitches around the country and stop counties from producing green seamers to suit their bowlers in the hope that they win the toss.

But, says Giles, that is never an issue at Old Trafford, a ground famed for regularly producing some of the best wickets in the country.

"I don't think it will affect a lot of games here," said the Lancashire head coach. "Every team who won the toss here last year batted first, so I think we will be tossing the coin a fair bit!

"But around the country it is something that's worth trying. I think it is good for the game and we should see an improvement in pitches.

"There will be the odd occasion where overhead conditions at certain grounds will play a major part in games.

"And if they are right on the first day then sides could take advantage of that.

"Something had to be done, and this is worth trying. If it doesn't work, then we can always go back to what we used to do."

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Apr 15, 2016
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