There’s an easy solution to ‘Ball-change-gate’ – and fixing it could also solve Test cricket’s biggest problem

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 28: Ben Stokes of England talks with umpire Joel Wilson after he requested the ball to be changed and it was denied, during Day Two of the LV= Insurance Ashes 5th Test Match between England and Australia at The Kia Oval on July 28, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

There is an easy solution to the problem of cricket teams constantly requesting a ball change – get rid of that option.

If the ball gets scuffed up or a bit out of shape, bad luck. Get back to the top of your mark and do your best. 

It’s funny how no fielding team ever requests a ball change amid a flurry of wickets.

But when modern teams can’t get any movement in the air or off the seam, they run to the umpire like Oliver Twist asking for more, making out like they can’t possibly continue unless the ball is changed. 

We get the rigamarole of the umpire producing their circular ring device and if the ball can’t fit through it, then it’s supposedly in need of replacing.

Old ball vs New ball… ????

— Sky Sports Cricket (@SkyCricket) July 31, 2023

It should be solely up to the umpires if they think a ball is not up to st

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