The Investec Ashes 2013 August 8, 2013

ICC confirms Hot Spot inventor concerns


The ICC has confirmed that the inventor of Hot Spot, Warren Brennan, raised concerns with them this week over the effect of bat coatings on the technology, which detects edges using thermal imaging, but that he was warned against suggesting players were deliberately trying to cheat the system.

Although Brennan has not explicitly stated any such worries in public and has declined to comment, he sent a tweet on Monday to former England captain Michael Vaughan that said: "Michael, it's time you investigate why players are using fibreglass tape on the edges of their bats."

Channel Nine also reported on Thursday that Brennan had raised his "serious concerns" with the ICC about flaws in the system. The Channel Nine report stated that Brennan feared silicone tape on bats could fool the technology by dulling the Hot Spot and ensuring no mark shows up on the edge even if a batsman has nicked the ball.

Nine reported that testing was carried out, which showed that a second layer of tape had the dulling effect. Geoff Allardice, the ICC's general manager of cricket operations, met with team management of both England and Australia in Durham on Thursday, and the ICC has announced Hot Spot will continue to be used for the rest of this series.

Allardice confirmed that he and Brennan had met in Melbourne on Friday to discuss the series and Brennan afterwards sent an email raising concerns.

"He followed up with an email to me on Monday suggesting that they'd looked at some clips and that coatings on the bat might have been dulling down the Hot Spot mark," Allardice said. "He made us aware of that. On Tuesday, he did some testing and informed us of that. He also advised us that he was intending to make a media statement.

"We talked about the timing of that. It's his company, his product, he's free to say whatever he likes in the media. We were expecting to see something either yesterday or today.

"We didn't really talk about the inference that players were doing it deliberately to try and beat the Hot Spot. I think we did warn him that if he made a statement along those lines, if the inference was that the players were trying to cheat the Hot Spot system he would need some strong evidence to support that. There is no evidence to support that assertion and certainly from the comments of the teams you can see that they don't believe that that happens."

Both Michael Clarke and Alastair Cook have vehemently denied that any of their players have deliberately used tape in an effort to fool Hot Spot and the teams are happy for the technology to continue to be used throughout this series. When Allardice was asked if the ICC would consider changing its playing conditions to prevent the use of such tape on bats, he said "a lot more evidence" would be required before any such move was made.

"I think it's very early days, in that players have had coatings on bats, and manufacturers' stickers on bats, and reinforcing tape on bats for forever and a day," Allardice said. "We listened to Warren's view and there may be something in it but I'd think we'd want to gain a lot more evidence before we'd look at rule changes or anything like that.

"This was a theory that he put up on Monday this week. He did some tests that he felt supported that theory. We would like to see some more evidence from on the ground with players in action to support that. At this stage we've got no intention of changing the rules in the short term."

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Biso on August 11, 2013, 5:40 GMT

    Things are getting more clear now. BCCI is unwilling to patronise the DRS firms with their less than effective technologies, as on date. The firms expect DRS to be patronised and all future improvements will take place with time while cricket at the highest level will be a de-facto trial ground. BCCI expects implementation to be post adequate trials and modifications and the systems to be reliable and provide results with high level of significance. Obviously, these trails are to be at the cost of the firms. However, there are many in ICC who have disagreed with BCCI and have gone about implementing the DRS in a high handed and ham handed manner. The results are now for all to see.

  • Biso on August 11, 2013, 1:52 GMT

    @Jayesh Patel. I agree. We are now seeing the results of the business decision proposed by the firms and the hurried / unscientific / unmanaged acceptance for implementation by the user. Takes two to tango. We can as well read between the lines. Why do you think BCCI was not in favour of DRS as it is now?

  • Dummy4 on August 10, 2013, 15:02 GMT

    The ultimate UDRS should include both Snicko and Hot Spot. No one could cheat Snicko at the moment

  • Sarang on August 10, 2013, 14:45 GMT

    Assuming the tape on edges can fool hot spot, I would not agree with KP's logic of "why would I use a tape if it can get me out on an inside egde LBW decision". Players can easily use the tape on outer edge and leave inside edge blank. This is not at all to say that KP or any other player is lying/cheating or doing this at all. If indeed tape is the root cause, ICC can ask players not to use it. There are lot of regulations or rules even now with what players can use even from marketing view, why not to ban something which avoids fair play? Strictly my opinion only.

  • RAJEESH on August 10, 2013, 13:11 GMT

    pieterson commented about the allegation: why I would use the tape on my bat to hide any nick which may save me on a false lbw decision.

  • Dummy4 on August 10, 2013, 11:19 GMT

    Maybe the tape is the reason that Clarke and a few other leading players call fot the review so quickly, when they have clearly hit it.

  • Dummy4 on August 10, 2013, 3:52 GMT

    Tapes have been used since time immemorial. How can you outlaw or curtail it? Obviously hotspot has issues with it. It should not be used till fully tested. Please read injunction with my previous comments.

  • Dummy4 on August 10, 2013, 3:44 GMT

    Technology is not full proof. It is often a business decision by the inventors to get it accepted without thorough testing. Its only when its in use, its limitations are realized. I hope ICC and the cricket fraternity will realize India's position now rather than join in the bandwagon to railroad the technology in to get it accepted. Bring in new technology where there is ample evidence. The technology is an umpire aid after all they are the adjudicators not the players! There can be a review system but umpires must start to make use of the technology in their decision spontaneously only then can we eliminate the error rate that is seen in abundance. To err is human! Aim to eliminate errors in catches,runouts & front foot no balls. We will never remove doubt in LBWs because there is doubt in the predictive path-pitches are very dynamic. Use snickos & audio with the aid of Hawke eye. There should always be a benefit of doubt left to the batsman. Heard of innocent until proven guilty!!!

  • gurinder on August 10, 2013, 3:37 GMT

    even the inventor goes on live tv to claim technology is vulnerable. wud icc still enforce it in all 100% of games in future ? i believe this is end of hotspot as we know. snicko is suspicious as well. afterall bcci is not 100% wrong and evil .why pay princely sum for 2 reviews which cud be compromised by 2cm of silicon fibre tape on outside edge of bats? preserve the inside edge , rather make it rough deliberately.

  • Dummy4 on August 10, 2013, 2:58 GMT

    Iinventor of Hot Spot, Warren Brennan feared silicone tape on bats could fool the technology by dulling the Hot Spot and ensuring no mark shows up on the edge even if a batsman has nicked the ball.Its a clear cut indication of hot spot flaw ,what i think by my self that hot spot should be stopped from cricket world from now on wards.