Ball of rage: Ponting fumes at umpires over ‘huge contrast’ as English bowlers get dramatic swing after controversial change

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31: Chris Woakes of England celebrates the wicket of Usman Khawaja of Australia during Day Five of the LV= Insurance Ashes 5th Test Match between England and Australia at The Kia Oval on July 31, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Australia’s fortunes on the final day of the Ashes have swung dramatically after a controversial ball change suddenly added plenty of venom to England’s attack. 

Former Test captain Ricky Ponting was furious in commentary for host broadcaster Sky Sports at umpires Joel Wilson and Kumar Dharmasena. 

Ponting said whenever a damaged ball needs to be changed, the umpires are supposed to select the one in the box of options which most resembles the one being replaced. 

But they have clearly failed to do that this time around with close-ups comparing the two Dukes six-stitchers showing the old one looking scuffed up and the new version appearing to be much shinier. 

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“It certainly looks a lot newer than the one they changed from. That is a huge contrast to the conditions of the two Dukes balls,” he fumed. 

Old ball vs New ball… ????

— Sky Sports Cricket (@SkyCri

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