"Huge Blunder" - Furious Ricky Ponting demands investigation of 'replacement ball' by umpires

Upon comparing the newly selected ball with the one England had been using before, a noticeable difference was spotted in the shine and appearance
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Controversy resurfaced during the final day of the 2023 Ashes series when England managed to claim three wickets in the morning session following a late ball change in the evening session of day four. The replacement ball appeared remarkably newer than its predecessor, raising suspicions.

On the previous day, England had failed to secure any wickets in the fourth innings and Australia had confidently reached 135-0, pursuing a challenging 384-run target to win the series. A significant incident occurred when Mark Wood struck Usman Khawaja's helmet with a short delivery in the penultimate over, causing damage to the ball. Consequently, the umpires decided to replace the ball and selected a new one from the available set of differently aged balls.

Upon comparing the newly selected ball with the one England had been using before, a noticeable difference was spotted in the shine and appearance. Interestingly, on Day 5, the bowling conditions seemed to favor England's seamers as David Warner, Khawaja, and Marnus Labuschagne were all dismissed within a span of just seven overs.

Former players share acknowledgment on social media

“There’s, there’s no way in the world you can even look at those two balls there and say in any way they are comparable,” said Ponting. “At the end of the day, if you are gonna change the ball, you want to make sure you get it 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. I just cannot fathom how two international umpires that have done that a lot of times before can get that so wrong," Ponting added.

During the Lunch interval, Ricky Ponting, who was part of the Sky Sports punditry team, openly expressed his doubts regarding the contrast in the condition of the new balls, a sentiment that was supported by others on the team.

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The controversy also gained momentum online, with numerous former and current players offering their perspectives on the matter.



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