Home > industry > media > Ashes series: ICC in silicone bat Hotspot probe

Sydney: The International Cricket Council (ICC) have launched a probe into allegations some batsmen in the Ashes series have used silicone tape on the edge of their bats to confuse Hotspot technology, Australia’s Channel Nine TV reported on Wednesday.

The ongoing five-test series between England and Australia has been riddled with controversy over the inconsistency of the Decision Review System (DRS), part of which is the Hotspot thermal imaging technology.

Hotspot uses infrared cameras to determine whether the ball has struck the batsman, bat or pad, with any contact supposed to show up as a bright spot on the image.

Cricket Australia last week requested an explanation from the ICC over the dismissal of Usman Khawaja during the third test at Old Trafford.

The batsman was given out caught despite a review of the television pictures and Hotspot which showed no convincing evidence of a nick off the bat.

Later in the same match, England batsman Kevin Pietersen was also given out, caught behind, but again the Hotspot failed to pick anything up.

ICC declined to comment when Reuters contacted a spokesperson on Wednesday but Pietersen was far more forthcoming with his opinion on the matter in a series of angry tweets.

“Horrible journalism yet again! My name brought up in hotspot crisis suggesting I use silicon(e) to prevent nicks showing! Such hurtful lies," Pieterson wrote.

“I am never afraid of getting out! If I nick it, I’ll walk.. To suggest I cheat by covering my bat with silicon(e) infuriates me," he added.

“How stupid would I be to try & hide a nick when it could save me on an LBW appeal, like in 1st innings where hotspot showed I nicked it."

Hotspot’s Australian inventor, Warren Brennan, was reported in the British media to be preparing a statement on the technology for release on Wednesday.

A tweet posted on Tuesday from an unverified Twitter account under his name and entitled @HotSpotInventor read: “We will make a statement tomorrow about hotspot in regard to the remainder of the Ashes series."

Another, in reply to former England captain and media pundit Michael Vaughan posted on 5 August read: “Michael, its time you investigate why players are using fibreglass tape on the edges of their bats."

England coach Andy Flower also called for improvements in the DRS system after the third test was drawn, ensuring the hosts, who won the first two tests, would retain the Ashes. REUTERS

Amlan Chakraborty contributed to this story.

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