London, May 8: The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has announced that the Dukes ball for the 2019 Test Series against Ireland and Australia will be made to the same specification as those used during the 2017 and 2018 home Test programmes.
It is felt that the 2017-18 specification Dukes ball on Test match pitches has produced highly entertaining cricket that has helped promote the Test format.
The 2019 Dukes ball, used during this year's Specsavers County Championship, has been produced with a slightly less prominent seam. This was done at the instruction of the ECB Cricket Committee, conscious of the balance between bat and ball on County pitches, especially during the early and latter parts of the season.
The 2017-18 specification Dukes ball was used during the second-half of the 2018-19 JLT Sheffield Shield. England supremo Ashley Giles said: "Clearly Jimmy Anderson is one of our best weapons, he's one of the best bowlers ever to have played the game and we want to bring him into the game.
"Dukes designed a 2019 ball specifically with the County Championship in mind and the scores have reflected that, when you add the quality of the pitches it has evened up the contest between bat and ball. However we think on Test pitches, we think to maintain that contest between bat and ball the 2018 specification ball will be better.
"I asked Jimmy and Stuart for some feedback and what they thought about the current ball and they said it was doing less than the old one. "I think the scores in the county game make that pretty obvious, and the ball has had an influence."