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To Bat or Not to Bat: An Examination of Contest Rules in Day-night Limited Overs Cricket



The tradition of tossing a coin to decide who bats first in a cricket match introduces a randomly-assigned advantage to one team that is unique in sporting contests. In this paper we develop previous work on this issue by examining the impact of the toss on outcomes of day-night one day international games explicitly allowing for relative team quality. We estimate conditional logit models of outcomes using data from day-night internationals played between 1979 and 2005. Other things equal, we find that winning the toss and batting increases the probability of winning by 31%. In contrast, winning the toss does not appear to confer any advantage if the team choose to bowl first.

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