The Investec Ashes 2013

ECB wants apology over tape claims

Brydon Coverdale

August 7, 2013

Comments: 153 | Text size: A | A

Kevin Pietersen is distraught after being adjudged caught behind, England v Australia, 3rd Investec Test, Old Trafford, 5th day, August 5, 2013
During this series, several edges have failed to appear on Hot Spot but have shown up on the Snickometer © Getty Images
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Kevin Pietersen angered by links to Hot Spot crisis

The ECB will demand an "explanation and apology" from Australian TV station Channel Nine following claims that players have been using silicone tape on the edges of their bats to fool Hot Spot during the current Ashes series.

The ICC has dismissed the reports that the ICC's general manager of cricket operations, Geoff Allardice, would discuss the issue ahead of the fourth Test at Chester-le-Street as "totally incorrect." During the series, several edges have failed to show up on Hot Spot, and the Channel Nine report made particular reference to Kevin Pietersen's second innings dismissal at Old Trafford, which appears to have been the main driving force behind the ECB's complaint.

"These media reports are totally incorrect," David Richardson, the ICC chief executive, said. "Geoff Allardice is meeting with both teams and umpires to see how we can best use the DRS and the available technology going forward in the next two Test matches. It has nothing to do with any players."

Pietersen himself reacted angrily on Twitter after his name was linked to using tape. "My name brought up in Hot Spot crisis suggesting I use silicon to prevent nicks showing! Such hurtful lies. I am never afraid of getting out! If I nick it, I'll walk. To suggest I cheat by covering my bat with silicon infuriates me. How stupid would I be to try and hide a nick when it could save me on an lbw appeal, like in the first innings where Hot Spot showed I nicked it."

Both teams have been frustrated by decision reviews during the series, especially regarding edges behind. Batsmen sometimes use fibreglass tape to help with the longevity of their bats, but the Australia captain Michael Clarke said he did not know of any Australian batsman using silicone-tape or any other method of attempting to reduce the effect of Hot Spot.

"It's hard for me to talk for other players, but I've never heard any type of conversation like that in the Australian change room," Clarke said. "I didn't know there was such a thing you could do to hide nicking the ball on Hot Spot. I wouldn't have thought that a bit of tape would have made any difference anyway.

"I think I would know. I'm a bat nuffy, I pick up everyone's bats. I go through everyone's cricket bats. I find the accusation quite funny, to be honest. I can't talk for everyone but if that's the case and we're talking about cheating, I can guarantee you there's not one person in the Australian change room who will cheat. It's not the way we play cricket."

During this series, several edges have failed to appear on Hot Spot, but have shown up on the Snickometer, which is not part of the technology used by the third umpire.

Graham Onions, the England seamer, was equalling damning about the claims. "It's a huge accusation, and it's outrageous really,'' he said. "It seems completely blown out of proportion really; it doesn't seem right.

"I know the England players would never put anything on their bats. Tape has been used to mend cracks or to get our favourite bats to last as long as possible, but it sounds completely silly to even think that people are putting things on their bat to try and help them to cover up decisions.

"I can say that we don't put anything on our bats. We play the game as fair as you can, as I'm sure the Australians do as well.''

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by RohanMarkJay on (August 9, 2013, 23:54 GMT)

Aussies lost the ashes because they were poor they played poor cricket. They deservedly lost the first test. Thanks to Agar,Hughes and Haddin they got close. But England outplayed them for most of the match and deservedly won. Aussies might have thought it was a crappy result but it was the right one.Well Played England. 2nd test. England totally thumped non existent Australia. Australia upped their game at old trafford and were probably unlucky not to win. However England showed they have Ozzies measure and would win the series eventually .England will probably up their game when they go to Australia. I think Australia will up their game in considerably in Australia. However some of the comments from Aussies and their media is just typical. Aussies got a crap team going nowhere, their situation isn't helped by their arrogant supporters. I hope England thumps them in Oz.

Posted by   on (August 9, 2013, 15:07 GMT)

Reminds me of English tour of India when Snow and Liver put Vaseline on their headband, and used it to shine the ball.

Posted by   on (August 9, 2013, 8:53 GMT)

@Afzal ahmed: Why do you still bang on about Stuart Broad ? Haddin (1st test) and Warner (3rd test) have both admitted they edged the ball but neither walked. And yet neither of these two "gentlemen" have copped anywhere near the same level of criticism that Broad did. Why is that ?

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (August 9, 2013, 8:02 GMT)

@Biso, I agree but even umpires make mistakes, as spinners can get massive spin with one delivery and next to none with similar delivery that doesnt hit rough.

That it why it is important to 'teach' hawkeye in different environments. However, the most important thing with hawkeye is that its perediction element depends on how much data it can collect on the trajectory of the ball from where it pitched to the impact on the batsman as that allows for a better prediction, eg 12 points on a curve gives a smother curve than 6 or 3, so the speed of the cameras comes very much to the fore, in the early days of development I believe they used 50 FPS cameras, but since Sony have taken a stake in Hawkeye this has gone up to 100-150 fps cameras.

THere is aslo the Calibration, Ideally this should be done at the start of play and during lunch and Tea to ensure the maximium efficency of the system, which is something I dont believe they do anymore.

Posted by Biso on (August 9, 2013, 4:34 GMT)

@yorkshirepudding.Thnx 4ur info. Having worked with traditional optical and subsequent laser sighting systems I can well appreciate yur text.I am now convinced that the position of two hawkeye cameras longitudinal to the pitch is critical.Seems clear, the system is basically a tracker and can therefore track far better than a human being. However, an important point here is that an element of extrapolation of the ball path subsequent to impact is inevitable. This is where an umpire with his prior specific knowledge might score over hawkeye, say in a situation where a dipping/swerving yorker hits the pads-hawkeye will extrapolate a linear path post impact while a brave umpire might consider further lateral movement in air and rule not out. The error margin of (within and not +/_ )3.5mm seems ok for now but this will certainly be subject to the impact distance from the stumps. More cams , more accuracy/processing speed and costlier at the moment.Needs tech audit for sure..

Posted by   on (August 9, 2013, 3:15 GMT)

The LBW argument of KP is flimsy. Outside edges will go for catches, inside egdes will possibly hit the pads. So you want to ensure outside edge does not appear in hotspot, but inside edge does.

rarely will inside edge go for a catch (unless a spinner is bowling, bat pad comes into play) and even much rarer, outside edge being given out LBW.

Posted by   on (August 9, 2013, 2:37 GMT)

It is possible because some England players have ignorant approach to the reality. Biggest example Stuart Broad refused to walk even though he knew he edged and was caught in 1st Test.. If one observe it can be found controversy always erupts in a series when England involves either home or away.

Posted by   on (August 8, 2013, 23:29 GMT)

@greatest game..The inventor of hawk eye is on record saying that unlike Tennis and Football, the ICC adopted technology prematurely without adequate testing. vikram501 is absolutely correct here.

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Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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