Broad 'baffled' by ball change

Stuart Broad

Stuart Broad

First published in Sport

Stuart Broad is anticipating further official clarification for the umpires' controversial decision to order a ball change during England's series-clinching victory over West Indies.

In the 37th over of the Windies' run chase, umpires Marais Erasmus and Joel Wilson insisted the ball must be changed because they believed it had deteriorated unnaturally.

England went on to prevail by 25 runs at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, where maiden one-day international centuries by their Joe Root (107) and the hosts' Denesh Ramdin (128) made for a high-scoring and tense match.

After England's 303 for six - Jos Buttler also made 99 - proved just enough for a first series victory in any format since last August, Broad soon found himself answering questions about the ball change.

"I'm sure we'll have a meeting with the ICC [International Cricket Council] to figure out what occurred, and what the script is," he said.

"At the end of the day, it's not affected the result. But it could easily have done, and that would have made me a little bit more cross."

Even as his team were celebrating, the England captain admitted to confusion over why the ball had to be changed.

"I am baffled by it ... I saw no logic to it at all," he added.

"I made my feelings pretty clear out there, as politely as I possibly could - without risking too heavy a fine."

It is unclear whether Broad was warned, a measure which in any case lasts only until the end of the series and is therefore already lapsed.

"I don't think they're saying we've tampered with the ball," he said.

"I think they're just saying it's unnatural wear."

Broad was delighted with England's overall performance, one clinched when Tim Bresnan bowled Ramdin with a perfect yorker to have him last out.

Th victory was set up by another Yorkshireman - Root, in a fifth-wicket stand of 175 with Buttler.

Root is to have an x-ray on his right thumb, having been hit when he had made only a single - and Broad added: "It was an incredibly brave knock. He came off, and his thumb was very ugly.

"Eoin (Morgan) was going to go out after the rain break. But then two minutes before, Joe put his helmet on and stormed out.

"I think it was clear for everybody to see the discomfort he was in. To battle through that and go and get a hundred ... that's the sort of commitment and desire you want guys to have playing for England."

Ramdin also played a memorable innings, containing 12 fours and five sixes.

The Windies wicketkeeper-batsman said: "We didn't get that big partnership at the top.

"We tried in the middle ... and coming up to the end, it was all up to me.

"I'm just disappointed I didn't get my team over the line."

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