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Ashes Australia to consider using Dukes balls

Australia are to discuss the possibility of using Dukes balls in their domestic game in a bid to better prepare for the next Ashes series.

  • Published:
play (Omni Sports)

Cricket Australia's general manager Pat Howard says the possibility of using Dukes balls in domestic cricket is something they will consider.

Australia's batsmen have struggled to cope with the UK-manufactured Dukes ball - which swings more than the Kookaburra version - during the Ashes.

That was highlighted on the first morning of the fourth Test at Trent Bridge last week, when the tourists were bowled out for 60 inside 19 overs as England romped towards a series victory.

And Howard says introducing the Dukes ball in Sheffield Shield cricket could help prepare Australia's batsmen for the next Ashes on English soil, where they have not triumphed since 2001.

"It's something that we've thought about and will be discussing with the High Performance Managers in each state," he said.

"We may give consideration to using a Dukes ball in Shield competition in the two seasons leading up to the next Ashes series in the UK.

"That could involve using a Kookaburra ball for the first half of the season and a Dukes ball for remainder of the year."

Howard also conceded that the team's failure to retain the urn would inevitably lead to his position coming under threat.

"I need to be reviewed and I have absolutely no problem with that," he said.

"Clearly I have got to take leadership over this. We lost and someone is accountable and ultimately I am accountable.

"The first person I want people looking for is me rather than anyone else."

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