England v India, 2nd npower Test, Trent Bridge

Vaseline cannot affect Hot Spot - BBG Sports

ESPNcricinfo staff

August 2, 2011

Comments: 56 | Text size: A | A

England's players talk to the umpire after a failed review, England v India, 2nd npower Test, Trent Bridge, 2nd day, July 30, 2011
England's players were not convinced by Hot Spot that VVS Laxman had not edged a James Anderson delivery © Getty Images

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.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by VAS4 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!!!

Posted by swarzi 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!

Posted by StatisticsRocks 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.

Posted by   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?

Posted by jackiethepen 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.

Posted by maddy20 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?

Posted by pka1982 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.

Posted by   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!

Posted by   on (August 3, 2011, 6:24 GMT)

@i_know_my_cricket is your name meant to be ironic?

Posted by   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..

Posted by   on (August 3, 2011, 5:13 GMT)

England always play double standards , they will do whatever to win the match whether it is ethical or not.But if it is something goes against them then comes with ethics.Compare layman's incident with Peterson's i didnt see any difference in that.How could previous England captain talking about vaseline , i will say english cricketers might do applying Vaseline in ball and bat.I dont think laxman even think about Vaseline.Ian bells incident if it happened to one of indian player at crucial point then , there is no way Strauss is going to recall his appeal.

Posted by johnathonjosephs on (August 3, 2011, 4:33 GMT)

@RandyOz I sure hope Cricinfo develops a like/thumbs up system just like youtube/facebook, because if it did, your comment would have the most thumbs up

Posted by johnathonjosephs on (August 3, 2011, 4:31 GMT)

Just one thing I want to point out illustrating the Indians/BCCI's power in the world of cricket is this. During the series so far, there have been multiple (and I say multiple) plumb LBW decisions in England's favor that have not been given (wrongly so). Why isn't there any publicity for them? Because they are in India's favor? When India toured the weakened West Indies and only one or two shoddy decisions went against India, they pulled a media storm over it (even though they won) and eventually got a decent umpire fired. Why when the wrong decisions are in India's favor do they not get publicity?

Posted by kumarcoolbuddy on (August 3, 2011, 4:20 GMT)

ENG made an issue of this hot-spot and now blaming on India. Man you guy never change.

Posted by   on (August 3, 2011, 4:06 GMT)

people accusing that indian averages would come down if a full drs is in place!!!a shrewd call just shows how envious people are about the consistent batting of india's top order..the concern for me is the game was running smoothly without drs and all of a sudden there is a cry for the technology,really feel what went wrong in the system. and for the english fans if drs is instated with hawk-eye ,i bet the country that would get the most out of it is INDIA with hawk-eye giving spinners edge over the fast bowlers.And definitely yuvraj will be the highest wicket taker when he retires from the game,with kevin piteresen knocked down every time yuvi chucks the pie at him.take a reference to the recently concluded world cup,check the countries with high success rate with udrs.Iam certainly happy to see the technology replace the man with no work standing in middle of the cricket pitch with white hats exercising his arms for a four or six,even that a technology could do that.

Posted by mathewjohn2176 on (August 3, 2011, 3:58 GMT)

@ warren smith, asusual you won't read the article and blindly bash the Indians. It was England who complained regarding hot spot accuracy and vaughan tweeted with no common sense .Even Stuart broad checked laxman bat to see any vaseline,how disgraceful? No wonder ponting was fighting against dar during ashes.when India accepts UDRS,english comes up with this freak doubtful because it seems what they feel is always correct including batsmen nick and outs.double standards.

Posted by NaniIndCri on (August 3, 2011, 3:48 GMT)

@Warren Smith, Why are you bashing Indians now? Its the English who doubt the technology here, would you mind reading the article before posting comments? And what is it with this Broad guy, just before 2 matches his place in the team was doubtful after having success in just 2 matches he became so arrogant that he is checking around bats of best batsmen in the world. If any Indian player did that all the no name former players and crazy english fans would be crying like sissies. And if you watched the match, it was the English batsman who got lives for not using technology, what about their averages?

Posted by   on (August 3, 2011, 3:07 GMT)

Two solid objects travelling in opposite directions in parallel plains close to one another don't have to touch to create a sound. There are other scientific factors (air pockets between them, etc) that cause sounds to be made when they pass very close even though they didn't touch. I'll like to know if Kevin Pietersen or Ian Bell did own up to the statements made in the last paragraph of this article; or is it still an unproven conjecture. Because, if any two players can claim hitting the ball and that it was not recorded by hotspot, then there should be some serious concern regarding the use of the technology. Could BBG Sports advice the ICC and us, as to how many 'Lux' of sunlight affects the accuracy of hot spot? Or at how many metres per second does the speed of the bat affect the accuracy of the technology? And are we still that naive to think that any 'living' person whose nervous system is functioning properly can touch a ball with his bat in his hand and does not feel it?

Posted by Caveman. on (August 3, 2011, 1:21 GMT)

Yo Warren, seems like the English were the ones left bleating about Hot Spot, and it turns out that their doubts were unfounded. India's opposition, if you cared to find out before typing lazy comments is that to HawkEye's "predictive" methods. Apparently, there's a bunch of stalwarts ranging from Holding to Boycott who dont trust the Hawkeye, not just the Indians.

Posted by xenon555 on (August 3, 2011, 0:15 GMT)

Of all the people for Vaughan to accuse of cheating he chooses Laxman? Sheesh I think i know why India was so opposed to the hotspot in the first place.

Posted by RandyOZ on (August 2, 2011, 23:03 GMT)

I wish that cricinfo used DRS on some of the Indian fans' comments, because there are some howlers out there.

Posted by S.N.Singh on (August 2, 2011, 23:00 GMT)


Posted by Rakim on (August 2, 2011, 22:05 GMT)

They should make full DRS system obligatory for all formats, Indians like it or not.

Posted by Hurricane08 on (August 2, 2011, 21:31 GMT)

@Gautham - Snicko takes upto 10 minutes to come back with results. Hence it can't be used for DRS - only for a reference. I agree with Warren Smith - technology may not be 100% accurate, but it only facilitates getting to 100% accuracy. I am an Indian fan, but I do think BCCI needs to explain its aversion to technology more openly. Just because a captain picked up the wrong decisions to be reviewed during a series, is not the fault of the technology. Standards have to be applied across the board otherwise stats will lose their accuracy.

Posted by i_know_my_cricket on (August 2, 2011, 20:57 GMT)

Who is Vaughan?! There are lot of discussion around what Vaughan had said. Just wondering who is he. By any chance, is he someone who played cricket??

Posted by johnathonjosephs on (August 2, 2011, 20:25 GMT)

Indians need to properly understand technology instead of just bashing it without knowing what they are talking about. The fact is Technology will NEVER be 100% correct. You could be 1000 years in the future, and it could be 99% or 99.9% or even 99.99%, but it will never be 100% correct. ALSO, they need to realize that it's purpose is NOT to REPLACE umpires, more to CORRECT OBVIOUS MISTAKES. If there is a decision that could go 50/50 and someone reviews it, the decision STAYS with the umpire. So what can go wrong? If there is a dubious decision, the decision stands with umpire, but if there's a completely wrong decision, the decision goes with player. What's the harm in that?

Dhoni's Thinking: Praveen Kumar has a good LBW shot against somebody. Dhoni challenges via UDRS and the ball via hawkeye is shown to be clipping the bails with less than 50% of the ball. Umpire stays with decision. Next day in press, Dhoni points out that issue and makes claims that UDRS is not 100% LOL

Posted by ananthsr on (August 2, 2011, 20:00 GMT)

@Michael Vaughan - Would love Kevin Pietersen to be retrospectively given out at 40 odd in the first test as Hotspot did not detect the thin edge after the umpire gave him out.. Or have him accused of using Vaseline too.

Posted by   on (August 2, 2011, 19:55 GMT)

Not sure why technology is bad mouthed by the Indians all the time. If umpires get 1 in 10 decisions wrong and out of those hot post and hawkeye and even just 80 percent accurate, then we have a massive improvement in the correct number of decisions being made. Are India trying to achieve somehing witht his stubborn refusal to accept technology. maybe therye worried about some over inflated averages plummeting downward?

Posted by CHINAMAN_UK on (August 2, 2011, 19:34 GMT)

I guess Vaughan will need to find something else... to slur someone like Laxman is unfortunate for Vaughan.... conversely BCCI need to get on with DRS... it is better to have it than not

Posted by OyeOyeCricketKiJaado on (August 2, 2011, 19:15 GMT)

Kuch bhi kay? I hope Vaughan genuinely believes his own allegations and is not trying some Steve Waugh style mental disintegration. If he is turning on the heat, we should probably stop being so nice to the English as well.

Posted by landl47 on (August 2, 2011, 19:09 GMT)

Of course neither hotspot nor any other form of technology is 100% accurate, nor is it ever likely to be. The question is whether using technology improves the number of correct decisions. Clearly it does- Harbhajan, for example, would not have been given out if technology was used to decide LBWs. Wherever the technology helps with a decision, it should be used. It's just three umpires working together now instead of two. It is ridiculous for a batsman to be walking out when the people watching on TV can see he wasn't out, or for a batsman to carry on with his innings when the ball would have hit middle stump, as with the Tendulkar decision. I'm glad that tests have revealed that cheating isn't an issue. Let's just get on with the game.

Posted by   on (August 2, 2011, 19:03 GMT)

i still dont get it, y is there no snicko for DRS?

Posted by raddoc001 on (August 2, 2011, 18:35 GMT)

If Stuart Broad checked Laxaman's bat and did not see any vaseline, then what is the fuss about? Does Vaughan think that Broad is lying?

Posted by   on (August 2, 2011, 18:02 GMT)

Good results! Now how long can you really hide from the media Mr.Vaughn?

Posted by Jonah58 on (August 2, 2011, 17:29 GMT)

There is something fundamentally wrong with hotspot, lets ignore the ones that were not given out and look at Strauss in the test at Trentbridge, clearly edged, clearly out. NO sign of an edge on hotspot! A self admitted 90-95% accuracy which is lower than ball tracking yet its used and the ball tracking which is 100% to the point of impact is not? I guess harbhajan wishes that ball tracking was used for LBW's though?

Posted by Saqib_Sheraz on (August 2, 2011, 16:38 GMT)

me also a big fan of HOT SPOT as Naseer Hussain said and I always welcomes the technology in game of cricket. we can't have Aleem Dar or S Taufel in every match. so this will enhance the accuracy of decisions.

Posted by kumarcoolbuddy on (August 2, 2011, 16:26 GMT)

Then how the hell could he blame Indian players saying they are cheating with additional material on bats?

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (August 2, 2011, 15:26 GMT)

In the interests of fairness, it should also be pointed out that Micheal Clarke survived such a decision in the brisbane match as well. There was also an incident in the SL series with engalnd where the ball brushed the glove, Hotspot showed nothing, yet the deviation was plain on a slow motion replay. I would like to know how feignt the edges were that were tested, as we're talking about only the very very feigntest of edges, possibly even the seam just hitting the edge, such that even the batsman wouldnt feel the edge although they may here it.

Posted by arunkiran on (August 2, 2011, 14:27 GMT)

i thin it is da worst coment made by vaughn for a honesty player like laxman if he

Posted by Natx on (August 2, 2011, 13:17 GMT)

One team has recalled the batsman after he was given out (however "naive" he was - he was playing the game not sleeping!). The other team keeps insisting the batsman was clearly out though the batsman said no, the bowler checked his bat to see if there is any evidence, technology has proved there is no evidence of vaseline being an impact. Not sure who is playing the game with the right spirit. One thing is saying so many things on press meetings and the other is demonstrating it in the field. Agreed - England played better cricket on the 2 tests and kudos to them, but their whining behavior off the field is absolutely unprofessional - which to me is completely un-English like.

The former captain (Vaughn) twitted something weird and then was made to defend it as a "humor" after he was made to eat his words as it was proven that there is no evidence. Ridiculous. Folks - grow up. You have to trust others to be able to earn that trust back on your team.

Posted by K.A.K on (August 2, 2011, 13:07 GMT)

The technologies are not perfect, but they give the opportunity to correct some mistakes. Keep improving the system BBG.

Posted by Karthik_1982 on (August 2, 2011, 12:59 GMT)

hahaha..... Eng cricketers should hide somewhere after reading this. But when BCCI decides to oppose DRS they had valid points that even the tech owner cant deny. This shows their maturity but even then the world doesnt accept them. This is shame and Shastri rightly told the English are jealous of indian cricket

Posted by Zahidsaltin on (August 2, 2011, 11:53 GMT)

Whatever the shortcomings, available technology is better than non at all. Yes aome of the umpires are doing a supurb job but as a whole their numbers regarding making right decisions are misleading. When some one says that a particular umpire has 95% right decisions, it includes all decisions and not only the critical ones. But if you take only those decisions up which are not clear to judge and can be a bone of contention then all the umpires will have it around 50/50 right.

Posted by   on (August 2, 2011, 11:46 GMT)

Sense of humour failure or not, Vaughan's behaviour in the press has been nothing short of despicable in the past few days. Sad to see that he cannot show the grace and intelligence of Athers and Hussain and get rid of his attention seeking ways.

Posted by yorkshire-86 on (August 2, 2011, 11:26 GMT)

Of course the company that makes Hot Spot is going to say it is unaffected by vaseline. Its always in a company's best intrest to deny things like that with 'internal' testing. Independent tests were invented many years ago just for that reason!

Posted by   on (August 2, 2011, 11:26 GMT)

This is absurd. Remember Sangakkara's dismissal of a faint edge courtesy hotspot in the first test of this summer?

Posted by   on (August 2, 2011, 11:13 GMT)

can anyone confirm what i mentioned in the previous article ie that there was no hotspot when Struss nicked the ball as well?

Posted by CharlieAlanJakeHarperFamily on (August 2, 2011, 11:03 GMT)

Perhaps vaughan should not have made such a silly comment against VVS who commands so much respect among his peers and his counterparts(ask the aussies during the 2000s) even in a bit of mild banter or joke being a public figure should reconsider over his comments

Posted by   on (August 2, 2011, 10:59 GMT)

Now the match referee should fine broad for his ridiculous act of checking Laxman's bat.

Posted by   on (August 2, 2011, 9:44 GMT)

I think using the modern technology is making game to go a new extent both as advantage and disadvantage. Although it depends on one's own view, but still is making news daily. I think on field umpire do feel uncomfortable as they are not allowed to take the decisions on their own factors where he cannot consider every single thing and give the decision accurate. Although the decisions are pretty fair and clean, it is best that technology should not dominate the game and its passion. Especially, it disturbs the harmony of two sides when some one comments on technology, indirectly the person involved is targeted not technology.

Posted by   on (August 2, 2011, 9:41 GMT)

is Michael Vaughan therefore suggesting VVS Laxman is a cheat? Why would he suggest such a thing when Englands players have been in a similar situation.

Posted by RahulBhaskaranpinarayi on (August 2, 2011, 9:34 GMT)

nothing is 100% it is very commen sence that even the thin edge can pick up by hotspot even we allow vasiline in the edge.if we put a thick sticket that can emit infra red light can cause a problem but if that is used it can be easeley find out by hotspot it's self.i have studyed photonics in cochin university and i have small knowlede about these things.

Posted by chapathishot on (August 2, 2011, 9:31 GMT)

What do you say Mr.Vaughan.I would like VVS to file a defamation charge against him.Or else he has to publicly apologize to VVS.Totally immature and irresponsible statement.

Posted by   on (August 2, 2011, 9:29 GMT)

Dirty tricks by English players to hamper India's mental strength. Its another way of winning games.

Posted by crickstats on (August 2, 2011, 9:12 GMT)

Vaseline sales might increase with this new report,

Posted by Yevghenny on (August 2, 2011, 9:06 GMT)

The Kevin Pietersen incident you refer to was Pietersen hitting his pad with his bat. Ponting was incensed because he saw a white mark on replay, and Dar tried to explain that this mark was too far down the bat to be caused by the ball.

Ian Bell's was a case of the umpires overturning their own decision, and I think the majority of people agreed at the time that this was the wrong decision on their part.

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