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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Press Association

Surrey slam ‘ludicrous’ claims over Ashes ball change after Australia complaints

Surrey have rejected the “ludicrous” claim that an old Dukes ball could have been used in the final Ashes Test at the Kia Oval.

England were able to win the fifth Test by 49 runs to level the series at 2-2 but the Australian press coverage in the immediate days after last Monday's dramatic finale was dominated by ‘ballgate’ with Usman Khawaja among a number of current and former players to discuss the subject.

Khawaja and fellow opener David Warner were well set on day four in an unbroken century stand when the former was struck on the helmet by a bouncer, which resulted in a change to the Dukes ball being used.

Dilip Jajodia, the owner of Dukes Cricket Balls, has vowed to launch an investigation after he added to speculation that a ball from a previous batch could have been used, not a ball from the 2023 batch.

A Surrey spokesperson told the PA news agency: “Mr Jajodia is correct to say that Duke's balls are supplied to the Oval and to Surrey CCC ahead of the season for use in matches and training. These balls can also be used as match replacements, as seen during the Test.

“There were a wide selection of balls available to the umpire's at all times, with a variety of conditions to choose from, and that decision is entirely at their discretion.

“We reject entirely the assertion that a ball from 2018 or 2019 could have been available for selection and think the suggestion itself is ludicrous.”

Jajodia, in an interview with News Corp, explained how every ball produced for a specific season has the date stamped on it and while “it's not likely”, he admitted a ball from a different year could have been behind the changed ball on day four, producing more swing and seam movement.

“I can't imagine they would risk putting a ball in there with a different date on it. Frankly, the match referee should be on top of it," Jajodia said of Surrey, via

“We do bang that number in quite hard, so even if the gold comes off, the ball is imprinted. It wouldn't be easy to get rid of it. I'm not saying it's impossible (that it was a 2018 or 2019 ball), but it's not likely.

“I'm going to investigate myself because it affects me. My name is at stake so it's important they don't misallege something was wrong with the ball.”

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