(BBC) England captain Stuart Broad says he is “baffled” by a decision to change the ball during his side’s series-clinching one-day win over West Indies.
The umpires ruled it was showing “unnatural deterioration” as England sealed a 25-run victory in the third and deciding match in Antigua.
“I saw no logic to it at all. I am baffled by it,” said Broad.
“I’m very confused as to why it was changed and made my confusion well known”
“Throughout the three games, the ball was roughing up, little bits of leather were coming off it.”
Former captain Bob Willis accused England of ball-tampering after umpires decided to change the ball during a Champions Trophy match against Sri Lanka in 2013.
Broad said that while he did not believe the umpires were making a similar allegation in Antigua, he was confused as to why they intervened. “It’s not like the ball was reverse-swinging,” said 27-year-old all-rounder, who was leading England for the first time in a one-day series in place of the rested Alastair Cook.
“I bowled three cross-seamers with the ball they gave us and the same wear was arriving on that ball. I’m very confused as to why it was changed and made my confusion well known.”
Before the ball controversy, Joe Root hit a maiden one-day international century and Jos Buttler fell one run short of his first ODI ton as England posted 303-6.
England then reduced the hosts to 43-3 before Denesh Ramdin threatened to pull off a remarkable fightback with a maiden century of his own. With 40 needed from the final three overs, Ramdin took 14 from three Tim Bresnan deliveries before being bowled by a yorker which sealed England’s victory in their first series since their dismal Ashes tour.
“This is going to lift the boys,” said Broad. “The guys have held themselves brilliantly to come away with a series win.”
England now play three Twenty20s against the same opposition in Barbados in preparation for the World T20 in Bangladesh.
Root could miss the first game on Sunday after suffering a thumb injury when struck by a ball from pace bowler Ravi Rampaul.