England v India, 2nd npower Test, Trent Bridge July 31, 2011

Hot Spot to undergo testing


The company behind Hot Spot will undertake tests to see whether the cameras can be tricked by the use of artificial substances on the edge of the bat. There is a belief among players that Vaseline can reduce the chances of a thin nick showing up, although it has only ever been rumoured that such tactics are used.

Concerns about the effectiveness of Hot Spot came to the fore when VVS Laxman survived a caught-behind appeal on the second day at Trent Bridge. England were convinced there was an edge but Laxman was equally convinced he hadn't hit it. The third umpire said there was a noise but it wasn't clear from where. Michael Vaughan, the former England captain, sparked controversy by tweeting the suggestion of Vaseline and Stuart Broad was later asked and admitted checking the edge of Laxman's bat but finding nothing.

Warren Brennan, the owner of Hot Spot, has previously said the device's accuracy is around 90-95% and can be impacted by such things as bright sunshine and the speed of the bat in the shot. He now says that it is possible that a substance like Vaseline could reduce the technology's effectiveness and tests will be conducted to try to find conclusive results.

"I would imagine that Vaseline would restrict the friction of the ball hitting the bat so if you reduce the friction you are going to reduce the Hot Spot," Brennan told ESPNcricinfo. "That is pure and simple physics. From what I can remember, quite often the outside of the bat has a layer of some sort of coating.

"Now if you put extra layers on the bat that might do the same thing. As long as it is a harder type of surface then you will get the Hot Spot. But if it is a soft, absorbant type of material then that will probably reduce the friction. It might take us a week or even longer to test all possibilities."

The other theory is that bat stickers on the edge of a blade can also help reduce the chances of a Hot Spot showing up - by showing one, long heat signature down the side of the bat - but Brennan said it is likely to work the opposite way and actually increase the visibility of individual marks.

"What I noticed last week when I was at Lord's was these stickers down the side of certain players' bats," he said. "When I looked at it through the cameras it actually looked like a Hot Spot, four or five little white spots. That was quite unusual so it must have be some sort of logo or the sticker. Through the infra-red I could see those spots.

"I just don't know why a manufacturer would put it on the side of the bat that would make it look like a Hot Spot. I had this conversation with the ICC less than a month ago and told them that we are noticing some of these stickers tend to reflect heat a bit like a mirror. The ICC said if that is the case they might have to look changing the regulations so that the side of the bat does not have any advertising, no stickers and no logos. But that is still a work in progress."

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

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 shown themselves to be especially effective at proving bat-pad catches and whether a batsman has been hit pad first in an lbw appeal, although in this series DRS is not being used for any leg-before decisions.

Andrew McGlashan and Nagraj Gollapudi are assistant editors at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on August 2, 2011, 9:56 GMT

    England won nd India lost.............................nd thats all that matters at the end of the day!

  • John on August 2, 2011, 3:25 GMT

    'I wish they would just get rid of all the technology from cricket except for very obvious howlers like harbhajan's LBW'. Great idea, ElPhenomeno! Wait a minute- who is going to decide whether it's an obvious howler or not? And what information are they going to use to make that decision? Oh, the umpires are going to decide and they'll use technology to make the decision. So now we're going to have the umpires decide whether a decision is wrong or not, based on technology. In case you haven't noticed, the DRS, where the decision is marginal, leaves it in the hands of the on-field umpires. So what you're suggesting is EXACTLY WHAT THE DRS IS NOW. You obviously share the same lack of understanding as the BCCI- perhaps now I've made it clear, you could explain it to them.

  • Dummy4 on August 1, 2011, 8:45 GMT

    @PunitSinha, Rightly said buddy...

  • Dummy4 on August 1, 2011, 8:22 GMT

    This tells me that BCCI will have the last laugh abt the DRS.

  • Dummy4 on August 1, 2011, 8:04 GMT

    was it only me who noticed that hot spot did not show a spot when Stauss nicked it as well?? however in Laxmans case when they snicko showed the sound AFTER the ball passed the bat which i foudn suprising that none of the commentators picked up.

  • Dummy4 on August 1, 2011, 7:54 GMT

    i think the on field sports should be kept as on field sports. all the use of technology in all sports is making it a computer game. you have to have good umpires and the standerd of check and balance should strengthened. its fine to call third umpire for run outs and stumps but DRS is just spoiling the game. cricket has evolved over centuries and is going f9 till now. so please keep it simple

  • Dummy4 on August 1, 2011, 7:39 GMT

    I would like to bring an unnoticed point into light here. When the snickometer detected a noise when the ball went past Laxman's bat, at that very same moment, the lowest flap of VVS Laxman's front leg's pad rapped the pad. Yes, the flap was a little loose, and if you observe closely, you can notice a small part of the lowest flap of the pad hitting the bat. May be that was the noise detected!!

  • kamalnivas on August 1, 2011, 6:38 GMT

    I hope this is not a major step backwards... I think DRS is definitely the future and people should still continue using hawk eye and snicko and hotspot though they might not be follproof. But it will still eliminate more 75 % human errors

  • Dummy4 on August 1, 2011, 5:47 GMT

    @ Impactzone, Dude ... the technology testing should be done in First Class cricket ... not at international level ...

  • Dummy4 on August 1, 2011, 4:30 GMT

    Thats the reason why BCCI always questions in DRS and never agrees to use. Hope the entire world, who is going against for ruling ICC and saying BCCI is making the amedments they want, got a reply.

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