Controversy has erupted over ball-change during Ashes fifth Test© Twitter
There was no dearth of controversies when it comes to the recently-concluded Ashes 2023 series between England and Australia. The final match of the closely-contested series was no different as questions were asked about the ball-change that Australia believes proved to be crucial in tilting the match in England’s favour. During Day 4 of the encounter, the 36-over-old ball was changed for a new one but Australia complained that the new ball was shinier and harder than what it should have been. The change of ball proved to be a turning point as Australia lost wickets in quick succession and were ultimately defeated by 49 runs. Australian ex-cricketers Ricky Ponting and Glenn McGrath were not pleased with the incident and both legends made their feelings clear regarding the topic.
However, the International Council has made the protocol clear for such situations.
“The ICC does not comment on the decisions taken by umpires in matches. We can, however, confirm that all balls are pre-selected before the start of every match and when the situation calls for it, the match officials choose the ball that is closest to the condition of the ball that is being replaced,” a spokesperson for the global cricket governing body said.
Earlier, Ponting expressed his frustration with what happened in the final Ashes Test.
“The biggest concern I have is the big discrepancy in the condition of the ball that was chosen to replace. There’s no way in the world you can even look at those two balls there and say in any way are they comparable. If you are going to change the ball, you want to make sure that you get it right, so it is as close as you possibly can to the one that you’re changing it from. Now if you have a look in that box, there weren’t too many older-condition balls in there. There were some older ones that were picked up, the umpires looked at that and threw them back,” Ponting said on Sky Sports.
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