England, Stuart Broad, ECB, Ashes 2019
The ECB announced that it will employ the same Dukes ball with less seam prominence in their Test matches against Ireland and Australia. @ Twitter

England’s Test pacer Stuart Broad has praised the ECB’s decision to use the same specification of Dukes balls used in 2017 and 2018 for this summer’s Ashes. The ECB announced that it will employ the same Dukes ball with less seam prominence in the Ashes 2019 series against Australia.

“Test cricket has been really exciting in England over the last two years,” Broad said on Thursday while speaking at the launch of NatWest’s #NoBoundaries campaign for 2019.

“Not saying that’s just down to the ball, but why make changes, why fiddle with it? It’s been great fun.

“We saw that the India-England series was 4-1 to England but it could have been 3-2 to India. It was great and inspiring to watch. It’s just really sensible decision-making in my opinion.”

The 32-year-old Nottinghamshire fast bowler said that he expressed his concerns over the 2019 Dukes ball to ECB Director Ashley Giles after the opening two rounds of the Championship.

“I spoke to him after the first two rounds of the County Championship season – this ball, where they’ve reduced the seam and the changes they’ve made to it, has lacked a slight quality for the top level. It was getting out of shape very quickly. We saw the scores were big and that was obviously in early April.”

Broad reckons the use of the older Dukes may benefit England’s seamers. “The 2017-18 certainly does more than the 2019 ball so it seems a pretty logical, sensible decision – but it’s not a pro-England decision. I’m sure Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc will be thinking, ‘thank goodness for that’.”