England v India, 2nd npower Test, Trent Bridge August 2, 2011

Vaseline cannot affect Hot Spot - BBG Sports

ESPNcricinfo staff

The company behind Hot Spot, BBG Sports, has said the application of Vaseline to the edge of a bat has no discernible effect on the technology. A batsman would have to apply a whole centimetre of Vaseline to the edge of a bat for it to have any effect, the company told ESPNcricinfo.

A controversy over the system erupted when Michael Vaughan, the former England captain and now commentator, sent out a tweet that suggested India batsman VVS Laxman may have applied Vaseline to the edge of his bat, which helped him escape a caught-behind appeal on the second day of the Trent Bridge Test. England were convinced Laxman had nicked a James Anderson delivery, and though Snicko showed there was a noise as ball passed bat, Hot Spot did not show any deflection. Stuart Broad admitted to checking Laxman's bat and said he found nothing. Broad also said the England players were not convinced Hot Spot picked up faint edges

BBG Sports decided to undertake tests to see whether the cameras used for Hot Spot could be tricked by the use of artificial substances on the edge of the bat. They have now released a statement saying: "We have done testing over the past two days in our office and can conclude that putting Vaseline on the side of a cricket bat has no discernible effect on our Hot Spot system. Maybe if you were able to apply 10 millimetres [one centimetre] of Vaseline on the side of the bat it would make a difference but we believe that this would be near impossible to achieve."

Warren Brennan, the owner of Hot Spot, had previously said the device's accuracy was around 90-95% and could be impacted by factors like bright sunshine and the speed of the bat in the shot. He had also suggested at the time that there was a chance a substance like Vaseline could restrict the friction of the ball hitting the bat and therefore reduce the effectiveness of Hot Spot, but after conducting tests BBG have found that it would take too much Vaseline to have that effect.

The company will also conduct tests to see if stickers on the edge of a bat can possibly dull the heat created by a nick and thereby reduce its presence on the Hot Spot cameras. The technology providers however said their observations during the Trent Bridge Test were that Hot Spot did register contact with the bats that had stickers on them.

Hot Spot has been made a mandatory piece of technology for the DRS system following the ICC's meetings in Hong Kong last month, where it was also decided to make Hawk-Eye optional. The infra-red cameras have been especially effective at deciding bat-pad catches and whether a batsman has been hit pad first in an lbw appeal, although in the England-India series the DRS is not being used for any leg-before decisions.

There have been a number of occasions when Hot Spot has proved inconclusive in caught-behind decisions. During the last Ashes, Kevin Pietersen survived in Melbourne, which incensed Ricky Ponting, while in Sydney Ian Bell survived an appeal which Snicko - which isn't used with the DRS - later suggested was out.

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  • VASANTHI on August 4, 2011, 7:02 GMT

    Micheal vaughan is trying to be in the news, in the limelight with this comment. see people are discussing it. They go and search in google to find who is vaughn. I suggest Laxman to sue this guy for defamation and character assassination. Vaughan will never be able to prove his point. This type of comments will not come under freedom of speach. Shame on you!!!

  • randolf on August 4, 2011, 1:02 GMT

    Jackiethepen, most of these commentators are former cricketers who forgot that they spent their lives either throwing leather at one another; or defending themselves from being injuried by leather, or chasing leather - nothing that important about fundamental proceses of life. Now when they talk, their tone is so arrogant, they seem to be experts in every thing; and would not heed rebuke from from those who really know about the things in life that are important. Hence, they make silly statements - for example, saying that 'Laxman used vaseline on his bat'; even after scientific experts who study the real important things in life have explained that such suggestions are dumb and outrageous. Some have given themselves this rock star status and created such high degree of self importance, that you think the use of the hands and legs takes precedence over exercising the brain! But who can blame them - that's where we all have the world is today - the brain is no longer important!

  • Subash on August 3, 2011, 14:55 GMT

    And let the India bashing begin. It's funny how the other day even a comedy article in CricInfo turned to out to be a catalyst for India bashing. I guess it's all due to the commercial success and the revenue that India and BCCI generate in Cricket. England were originally planning to start something equivalent of IPL but India beat them. The World would have been a better place if that had happened. At least our neighbors up North and down South would have been very happy as they prefer rather playig for the West rather than see a subcontinent nation dominate the world of Cricket. We are against technology doesn't mean we will cheat to prove that it doesn't work and that too a player of VVS's class. I agree that India is beaing beaten fair and square by a quality English side, but that doesn;t give Mr ordinary cricketer Vaughn to accuse un of using Vaseline.

  • Dummy4 on August 3, 2011, 13:10 GMT


    the same England team which played in Ashes 5th Test had absolutely no issues with hotspot when Ian Bell nicked one and snickometer confirmed it but Hotspot said not out. In that case even Umpire thought it was out. In VVS Laxman case, Umpire thought it was not out. But now every English fan including michael vaughan thinks its Vaseline. what happened during Ashes?

  • Jackie on August 3, 2011, 10:34 GMT

    Not sure why commentators have absolute faith in the technology of Snicko as compared to Hotspot. Sound can come from a ball passing extremely close to a bat without touching it because of pressure on air waves. If there is no hotspot, not even a smidgeon, then the likelihood is the ball has missed the bat but close enough to record a sound from air pressure. This has been explained by scientists on various websites yet Sky and TMS commentators continue to accuse batsmen of cheating. The idea of vaseline making a difference is laughable.

  • V.L on August 3, 2011, 7:42 GMT

    @Warren Smith Stop the India bashing already.Hawkeye shows most of the deliveries are gonna hit the wicket even if it pitches a foot outside off-stump and is seaming/spinning in. If it is used for referrals then any team would struggle to get to 100. The technology they are using still requires a lot of testing. The fact that hotspot failed to detect an edge and the 2.5m rule in hawkeye where in the batsman cannot be given out if he is standing outside the crease and/or playing on the front foot then(remember Ian Bell's decision in the WC where in he was stuck plumb in front and though hawk-eye showed it was htting middle it was not ruled as out coz he was out of his crease) there can still be howlers. As soon as they sort out atleast these obvious issues I am against DRS. @English and Aus fans Look who's talking. Remember the ENg game against NZ where Collingwood did not reverse a similar decision against franklin? And OZ folks, remember the Murali run out?

  • Ajaya Kumar on August 3, 2011, 7:34 GMT

    For all the people supporting Hawk Eye blindly, the delivery with which James Anderson bowled VVS Laxman was predicted to be missing the stumps by Hawk Eye. Check it for yourself.

  • Dummy4 on August 3, 2011, 7:27 GMT

    @Caveman.: If you spent some time thinking about the "predictive" side of LBWs before brandishing your club, it would be nice before you belittle another's opinion. Yes, the Hawk-Eye is based on predicting the ball's path after impact. But is the umpire not using his "predictive" knowledge in the current system? Well, if you tried umpiring, you will be mentally using the same tactics as Hawk-Eye to judge LBWs. Only difference - umpires do it visually while the Hawk-Eye uses mathematical extrapolation. Obviously math overrules in this case as even the "bunch of stalwarts form Holding to Boycott" have a fantastic probability of totally missing the ball's path or wrongly visualising it's predicted path as well!

  • Dummy4 on August 3, 2011, 6:24 GMT

    @i_know_my_cricket is your name meant to be ironic?

  • Dummy4 on August 3, 2011, 6:09 GMT

    For LBW's I can understand there is no need of DRS, but at least cud have the HOT-SPOT enabled for LBW so that if a batsman nicks the ball, umpair will not make the mistake of giving him out..

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