Kevin Pietersen has described as “hurtful lies” a number of Australian reports suggesting he may be one of several players in the Ashes series who are using silicon tape on their bats to prevent edges showing up on Hot Spot.
Responding to an original report on Channel Nine news that silicon was being used, News Limited ran a story on its website with a large picture of Pietersen, claiming: “Concerns were apparently raised after Kevin Pietersen’s contentious dismissal in the second innings at Old Trafford. Hot Spot detected no signs of an edge from Pietersen, however Snicko later revealed clear evidence of a nick.”
No official comment
England have yet to comment officially on the allegations but Pietersen tweeted: “Horrible journalism yet again! My name brought up in hotspot crisis suggesting I use silicon to prevent nicks showing! Such hurtful lies.”
He then added: “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.”
A third tweet demonstrated Pietersen’s annoyance.
“How stupid would I be to try and hide a nick when it could save me on an LBW appeal — like in 1st innings where hotspot showed I nicked it.”
Geoff Allardice, the International Cricket Council’s cricket operations manager, is flying into England for talks with both teams about the decision review system before the start of the fourth Test in Durham on Friday, but they are not thought to have been instigated by the silicon issue.
An ICC spokesman said: “Geoff Allardice will be arriving in Durham and will be meeting the two teams at some stage tomorrow to address their concerns on the DRS and to also assure them that the ICC is doing everything within its powers and resources to improve the performance of the DRS.”
The ICC has declined to comment as yet about the use, or otherwise, of silicon tape on bats.
Australia’s captain Michael Clarke also denied that any of his players were using silicon, and said he had no concerns that the England batsmen were doing so either.
“I find the accusation quite funny,” he said. “I can’t talk for everybody but if it is the case we are talking about cheating, I can tell you there is not one person in the Australian change rooms who is a cheat. That’s not the way we play cricket. I know no one is going to the extreme of saying put this on your bat because it will help you beat Hot Spot.
“I’ve used fibreglass facing on my bats since I got my first bat from Slazenger when I was 12. I used a fibreglass face on the bat because we couldn’t afford two or three or five or 10 cricket bats.
“Because modern bats are pressed and are soft, you put a cover on it to protect the bat and make it last longer. A lot of players use that since I've been playing cricket.
“I didn't know there was such a thing you could do to hide nicking the ball on Hot Spot. I wouldn't think it would make any difference. I've never heard of anyone doing it.” — © Guardian Newspapers Limited, 2013