Owner of Dukes cricket ball unhappy with former Indian skipper's remarks

Owner of Dukes cricket ball unhappy with former Indian skipper’s remarks

Azhar wants the Indian team to continue with SG balls since they've had a lot of success with that in the past.

Pink and red ball
(Photo by Morne de Klerk/Getty Images)

Over the recent years, there has been an upsurge in the demands for the usage of Dukes cricket ball in Test matches across the globe. While the Dukes is used in many countries, it is SG balls that feature in the Test matches that are played in India. However, recently, the Indian captain Virat Kohli had spoken in favour of switching to Dukes balls for the Test matches to be played in India as well.

Kohli’s remarks had come during the recently concluded Test series against the Windies. While India won the series quite comfortably, the bowlers did complain about the sustainability of the SG balls in the longer formats. Many cricketers agreed to the viewpoints of the Indian skipper. However, former Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin did not look pleased with these comments.

He went on to quote that the SG balls have helped team India establish their dominion in home conditions. Absolutely unhappy with the remarks, the owner of the company that makes the Dukes cricket balls, Dilip Jajodia, lashed out at Azharuddin for his response. As per his quotes in the Hindustan Times, Jajodia noted that the likes of Virat Kohli and Kuldeep Yadav are not idiots to come out in the press conference and speak in the favour of the Dukes ball.

“I know Azharuddin very well. I respect his views, but he is wrong on this. Kohli, Umesh Yadav and others are not idiots to ask for Dukes even after winning handsomely against the West Indies in India. Azhar may be telling an old, out-of-date story,” quoted Dilip Jajodia.

“It is incorrect to suggest that the same ball be used in all cricket matches all over the world, for the simple reason that not all pitches are the same. The solution is to have bespoke balls, suited for local conditions, but adhering to the same high standards as that of Dukes,” he added further.

Kohli’s views and Azhar’s take on it

Going back in the episode, Virat had stated that the most suited ball for Test cricket is the Dukes ball. The skipper would wants to switch from SG and clearly favoured Dukes.

“The Dukes ball, I think, is the most suited ball for Test cricket. If there’s a situation I would vouch for that to be used all over the world because of the consistency of the ball and how the bowlers are in the game at any stage, even the spinners, because the seam is so hard and upright,” Kohli had said.

In response to this, Azharuddin had cited that the introduction of SG balls in Test cricket helped India dominate the home matches since the 1990s. He felt that there is no need to create a fuss over this by thinking of changing that in the future.

“It was in 1993 when the SG was first introduced and India went on to dominate all cricket they played at home. Look at the overall country-wise average of bowlers bowling with different balls in different conditions. That will give you the answer. So, what’s the fuss about?” Azharuddin had said.

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