Pietersen angered by Ashes cheat claims
England batsman Kevin Pietersen has furiously denied reports in the Australia media that he has cheated to prevent the detection of edges.PT2M55S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2rhmp 620 349 August 8, 2013
Michael Clarke has strongly denied any Australians cheated the DRS as the ICC refuted claims it was investigating allegations some players used silicone tape on their bats to fool Hot Spot.
The ICC has sent its director of cricket operations to Durham this week to meet both sides in an effort to clarify confusion over the DRS, which has marred cricket's showpiece Test series.
In the latest DRS drama to rock what has already been a highly contentious Ashes series, Channel 9 reported on Wednesday night that concerns were raised after a series of issues with the infrared technology over the past month, the most recent being Kevin Pietersen's dismissal in the final innings of the third Test when the English batsman unsuccessfully tried to have a decision overturned by the video umpire.
Controversy: The use of silicone-based substances to beat Hot Spot has led to questions over the dismissals of, among others, Kevin Pietersen.
The attempt failed despite Hot Spot technology, whose inventor Warren Brennan is Australian, not recording an edge, although sound detectors picked up a clear noise as the ball passed the bat.
Brennan declined to comment about the controversy when contacted by Fairfax Media on Thursday.
Pietersen was furious as he walked off the field. He launched an angry response at being linked to the allegations on Twitter on Wednesday night, describing suggestions he had cheated as ''lies''.
Sent packing: Peter Siddle of Australia sends Englishman Kevin Pietersen a message. Photo: Getty Images
The ICC has sent its director of cricket operations, Geoff Allardice, to Durham this week to meet both sides in an effort to clarify confusion over the DRS, which has marred cricket's showpiece Test series.
The ICC said Allardice was going to Durham to meet both teams on Thursday to provide clarification and address their concerns on the DRS, but dismissed claims of an investigation into the use of silicon tape on bats.
"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," ICC chief executive David Richardson said. "It has nothing to do with any players."
Controversial: Kevin Pietersen leaves the field after his contentious dismissal on the final day of the third Test in Manchester. Photo: AFP
The ICC statement "dismissed reports linking it to any investigation into alleged attempts by any player to 'cheat' the effectiveness of the Hot Spot technology during the current Ashes series between England and Australia."
The Pietersen incident was the latest involving DRS that has left players and fans mystified. Earlier, Australia's Usman Khawaja failed to have a caught behind decision corrected by the video umpire during the first innings despite clearly missing the ball, a dismissal that led to Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland to formally seek clarification from the ICC.
Australian captain Michael Clarke said players used Extratec fibreglass casing to protect their bats but he had no knowledge of players using silicone tape. The laws of cricket allow for the use of tape for the protection and repair of bats. The type of covering material permitted is not specified in the rules.
''If that's the case then we're talking about cheating, and I can guarantee there is not one person in the Australian change room that will cheat,'' Clarke said. ''It's hard for me to talk for other players but I've never heard any conversation about that in the Australian change room, and I can guarantee you my bat manufacturer [doesn't do it].''
"I find the accusation quite funny. I know no one is going to the extreme of saying 'put this on your bat because it will help you beat Hot Spot'."
Batsman Steve Smith denied any Australian player had tried to evade Hot Spot by using tape. ''I don't think any of us have done anything with silicone on our bats,'' he said. ''We put fibreglass tape on the front, and that's purely for protection of the bat and to make it last longer.''
Smith said the fibreglass casing did extend on to the edge of the bat, but he had never thought about it as a way to undermine Hot Spot. ''It's just in the spirit of the game not to do that sort of thing,'' he said. ''We haven't even discussed anything about trying to cheat the system at all.
''I've never actually even thought about it until it came up this morning. I've never seen silicone tape at all. I don't even know what it looks like, to be honest.''
England bowler Graham Onions defended his players including Pietersen.
'It's crazy. It just doesn't sound right and it isn't right. None of the England lads would use anything on their bats," Onions said. "Kevin (Pietersen) is a fair guy and the accusations are wrong. That's all I can say."
A similar issue emerged two years ago when former India batsman VVS Laxman was embroiled in a controversy in a Test against England after he survived a referral for caught behind, prompting former England captain Michael Vaughan to tweet: ''Has Vaseline on the outside edge saved the day for Laxman?''
Horrible journalism yet again! My name brought up in hotspot crisis suggesting I use silicon to prevent nicks showing! Such hurtful lies..��— Kevin Pietersen (@KP24) August 7, 2013
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..— Kevin Pietersen (@KP24) August 7, 2013
How stupid would I be to try & hide a nick when it could save me on an LBW appeal, like in 1st innings where hotspot showed I nicked it..— Kevin Pietersen (@KP24) August 7, 2013
How it works
* Silicone tape contains a thin layer of adhesive gel that fuses with the surface of an object - such as a cricket bat.
* By attaching transparent silicone tape to the edge of a bat's blade, the outer willow surface of the bat would become much more smooth.
* The ''heat'' identified by an infrared camera like Hotspot is generated by friction. The ball strikes the bat at speed and grates along the surface of the wood.
* In theory, a bat treated with silicone tape would have a much smoother surface area than a standard bat, so less friction would be generated by a snick, and therefore less heat would be detected.