Not done yet, ‘Ball-Change Controversy’ hit’s Ashes


The Ashes 2023 series came to a thrilling conclusion with Australia and England battling it out in a spectacle of cricketing action. While breathtaking moments adorned the series, it was not without its share of controversies. One incident that dominated headlines throughout the series was the Jonny Bairstow dismissal. However, after the conclusion of the 5th Test at the Oval, a new controversy emerged, centered around England’s ball-change tactic on the final day of the match.
Australian batter Usman Khawaja and former captain Ricky Ponting voiced their discontent over the replacement ball used by Ben Stokes’ men. Ponting expressed his frustration, alleging that the ball chosen to replace the original one was not comparable in condition, raising concerns about the fairness of the change. He pointed out that there was a significant discrepancy between the two balls, leading to doubts about the integrity of the decision. Ponting’s concerns were fueled by the manner in which the replacement ball swung on the final day of the match. According to him, the new ball seemed to move significantly more than the original one would have under similar conditions. He emphasized that the discrepancy had a profound impact on the game, potentially altering its outcome and called for a thorough investigation into the matter. Khawaja supported Ponting’s claims, asserting that the impact of the replacement ball was evident when it struck his bat. The Australian opener revealed that he immediately noticed the difference in the ball’s performance and brought it to the attention of umpire Kumar Dharmasena. The controversy has raised questions about the process of ball replacement during the series.
Critics argue that selecting a ball with vastly different characteristics can give an undue advantage to one team over the other, potentially influencing the outcome of crucial matches.