Veteran England pace bowler Stuart Broad has condemned the Dukes ball and said that it was at its worst during Day One of the second Test against South Africa. He also reflected that bowlers have struggled with them as well. There have been issues with the ball in the ongoing series, with the London-based manufacturer citing covid-related struggles as well. In May 2022, the owner of the business that manufactures Dukes balls stated that the new batch had a problem with the balls going out of shape.
Speaking to the BBC, Broad lashed out at the balls that have been in use this summer, causing the bowlers to struggle too. The veteran has revealed that the cherry was the most out of shape on Day One at Old Trafford and that the umpires complained about it also.
Stuart Broad said: “They are rubbish, to be honest. We have struggled with them all year for some unknown reason. Today was probably the most out of shape we have had all summer. After about 25 overs the umpires were saying it’s out of shape but it’s going through the rings because it’s quite a small ball. We could tell how soft it had gone after that. They felt better last week but the one we got today was a really average ball. It was out of shape from 20 overs, but it was small enough to fit through the hoops. It was frustrating because the umpires couldn’t do anything about it.”
He said after he helped England to take control of the second Test against the Proteas. He and Anderson bagged three wickets each as they bowled the opponents out for 151.
“It’s been really noticeable, at every Test bar Lord’s. From 40 to 80 overs, it’s been very difficult time to take wickets, you have to find different ways to do it. Wickets fall early, but you have to change it up 40 to 80. In the second innings we will have to adapt and adjust,” Stuart Broad concluded.