ECB set to use Dukes ball with more prominent seam for upcoming Ashes
The England Cricket Board (ECB) have confirmed that they will use Dukes ball with a bigger seam in the Test matches against Australia and Ireland.
England used Dukes ball in the County Championship this season which had a less prominent seam in a bid to even out the balance between bat and ball in early season, when traditionally the bowlers are on top. Feedback from county coaches and players are that the ball has indeed made it a fairer contest and everyone appreciated the ball.
However, ECB have decided to revert to the 2017/18 Dukes ball which has a bigger seam – used in the previous two Test summers – in the search of better balance when the pitches flatten out in high summer.
Ashley Giles, managing director of England’s men cricket when asked about the change –
“This is not about having two day games. This is honestly about having a fair contest. My concern was this [current] ball would make it too batting friendly on good Test wickets in the middle of the summer. That was the primary reason.”
“We’ve seen some really good Test cricket in this country over a number of years. It’s not as if we are talking about playing against an attack that is not very good. The Aussies are quite handy themselves. There are elements of risk to it because we are choosing to go with this ball and they have a formidable bowling attack. Clearly, Jimmy Anderson is one of our best weapons so we want to bring him into the game,” he said.
The 2019 Ashes between England and Australia will begin on August 1.