To bat or not to bat: An examination of match outcomes in day-night limited overs cricket

Peter Dawson, B Morely, D Paton, D Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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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. The potential importance of the toss rule in determining cricket match results has been the subject of some investigation, which is further advanced in this paper that utilizes a data set relating to the increasingly popular, but contentious, day-night form of limited overs cricket as played at international level. We employ logit regression models to examine the effects of winning the toss and choice of batting order on the likelihood of a match victory, while controlling for home advantage and (relative) team quality. Our findings suggest that winning the toss and batting first increases the probability of winning whereas winning the toss and bowling first does not.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1786-1793
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Operational Research Society
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009



  • match results
  • cricket
  • uncertainty of outcome
  • contest rules

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