Journal of the Operational Research Society

, Volume 60, Issue 12, pp 1786–1793

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

Theoretical Paper

DOI: 10.1057/jors.2008.135

Cite this article as:
Dawson, P., Morley, B., Paton, D. et al. J Oper Res Soc (2009) 60: 1786. doi:10.1057/jors.2008.135


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.


cricket contest rules match results uncertainty of outcome 

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of BathBathUK
  2. 2.Nottingham University Business SchoolNottinghamUK
  3. 3.University of Wales Aberystwyth, AberystwythCeredigionUK

Personalised recommendations