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ICC wants evidence for Hot Spot claims: report

The International Cricket Council has told the inventor of Hot Spot he will need strong evidence to suggest players were deliberately trying to cheat the system, a report said on Friday.

cricket Updated: Aug 10, 2013 00:44 IST

The International Cricket Council has told the inventor of Hot Spot he will need strong evidence to suggest players were deliberately trying to cheat the system, a report said on Friday.

Australia's Channel Nine alleged on Wednesday that players in the current Ashes series between England and Australia were using silicone tape on their bats to avoid nicks being detected by the thermal imaging system.

The ICC has confirmed Australian inventor Warren Brennan raised concerns with them this week over the effect of bat coatings on the technology, but that he was warned against suggesting players were deliberately trying to cheat the system, the Cricinfo website reported.

Brennan has not made any public comment and has refused interviews, but 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 reported on Thursday that Brennan had raised his "serious concerns" with the ICC about flaws in the system and that testing had been carried out, which showed that a second layer of tape had the dulling effect.

Geoff Allardice, the ICC's general manager of cricket operations, has said that Hot Spot will continue to be used for the rest of the Ashes series and that he had met Brennan in Melbourne last week to discuss the series.

"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 told Cricinfo.

"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," he added.

"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."

The allegations prompted swift denials from both teams while the ICC said the claims were incorrect.

Allardice told Cricinfo the ICC would consider changing its playing conditions to prevent the use of such tape on bats, but said "a lot more evidence" would be required before any such move was made.

"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," he said.

"He (Brennan) 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."