Australian captain Michael Clarke has laughed off suggestions that players may have hoodwinked the Hot Spot in the Ashes by using silicon tape to cover the bats, saying that he would have known if his players were cheating.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the application of tape, casing or faces is nothing new, and can be seen on thousands of bats at junior, grade through to Test level.
Stating that he has never heard of anyone sticking silicon tape on their bats to avoid detection from the infrared camera Decision Review System (DRS) tool, the Test skipper said that he would be very surprised if the practice had gone on without him knowing.
According to Clarke, he would know if any of his players were cheating, as he is the one going through everyone's bats to check for any irregularities before a match.
The report further said that a previous practice for protecting bats from damage and ensure longer use was to oil them, adding that the laws of cricket allow for material that is 'not rigid' to be placed on bats for protection and repair but the type of covering material permitted is not specified in the rules.
According to the report, the rules also state that the surface of the blade may be treated with non-solid materials to improve resistance to moisture penetration and/or mask natural blemishes in the appearance of the wood.