With controversy around the replacement Dukes ball in the 5th Test of the 2023 Ashes series, an investigation is set to take place about the same. Dukes owner, Dilip Jajodia, has expressed his surprise about a five-year-old ball in the box offered to the umpires for replacement and feels it's unlikely but not impossible.
With Australia's openers Usman Khawaja and David Warner looking comfortable in pursuit of a steep 384, a replacement ball came in late on day 4, which lead to quick wickets on day 5. The replacement red cherry swung and seamed far more than the previous one. Australia were eventually bowled out for 334 and their hopes of winning the series were crushed.
Speaking to News Corp, Jajodia questioned the tactic of putting a ball with a different date on it and felt the match referee should have been more proactive in identifying it.
"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. 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 (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."
Usman Khawaja revealed to have questioned Kumar Dharmasena about the ball:
Khawaja, who top-scored with 72 in the 4th innings, revealed that he questioned Kumar Dharmasena about the condition of the ball as it was anything unlike he ever faced throughout the series and it came after surviving the brand new cherry. As quoted by cricket.com.au, the southpaw claimed:
"I walked straight up to Kumar (umpire Kumar Dharmasena) and said 'that ball looks nothing like the one we were playing with.....I can see writing on it. It felt harder than any ball I've faced in this Ashes series – and I've opened the batting against the new ball every single time."
With 496 runs in 10 innings, Khawaja was also the top run-getter of the series.