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ICC to stick with Hot Spot for final Ashes Tests

The Hot Spot system will remain in use in the final two Tests of the ongoing Ashes series despite the controversy over its use and cheating claims, the International Cricket Council (ICC) said today.

cricket Updated: Aug 08, 2013 18:22 IST

The Hot Spot system will remain in use in the final two Tests of the ongoing Ashes series despite the controversy over its use and cheating claims, the International Cricket Council (ICC) said on Thursday.

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

The allegations prompted swift denials from both teams while the ICC said the claims were incorrect and it was not investigating any alleged attempts by players to cheat the technology, as reported.

On Thursday, it said in a statement that its general manager of cricket Geoff Allardice had met both sides but only to talk about the Decision Review System, which has similarly provoked discussion over contested dismissals.

Allardice described the talks as "very constructive", with the teams and umpires reiterating their support for the DRS, and the continued use of Hot Spot in the final two Tests that will be played at Chester-le-Street, northeast England, from Friday and at The Oval in south London from August 21.

"We acknowledge the DRS has not performed as effectively during the past three Tests as it has in other series," Allardice said.

"It was very encouraging to hear both teams reiterate their support for the use of DRS."

He also stressed that Hot Spot was just one tool at the disposal of the third umpire.

"We know that the majority of edges are detected by Hot Spot but there are occasions when a fine edge isn't picked up.

"If there is no mark on Hot Spot, the TV umpire can use replays from different angles to see whether the ball has deflected off the bat, and he can listen to the sound from the stump-microphone to determine whether the batsman has edged the ball.

"Either deflection or sound can be used by the TV umpire to make his final judgment."

The ICC were looking at ways to improve the system, he said, adding: "Technology is evolving.

"During the Old Trafford Test, we conducted a trial where a TV umpire accessed replays using a multi-channel monitor system with its own operator and recording device.

"The aim was to get more replay angles to the umpire, faster, so he will be able to make more accurate decisions and minimise delays to the game.

"The feedback from this trial has been very positive, and we now need to consider how this technology could be most effectively used as part of the DRS system."

The move to retain Hot Spot was backed by England captain Alastair Cook, who said that abandoning the technology mid-series would be a "very dangerous precedent".

England batsman Kevin Pietersen, whose dismissal in the third Test at Old Trafford in Manchester, northwest England, was said to be under scrutiny, described the Channel Nine report as "horrible journalism" and "hurtful lies".

Cook also called them a "complete fabrication", adding: "Both sides have laughed at it to be honest with you, at how strange a story it is and absurd, it's just so blatantly not true.

"It's not great when you're called a cheat."

But Channel Nine persisted on Thursday, saying Hot Spot inventor Warren Brennan had raised "serious concerns" with the ICC about flaws with the system.

ICC's Allardice said it would address use of technology to determine contested appeals in the light of criticisms about how the third umpire has interpreted information.

"An ongoing area of focus for the ICC is the training of our TV umpires," he added.

"All these activities are aimed at ensuring the DRS continues to deliver an increase in the number of correct umpiring decisions."

First Published: Aug 08, 2013 18:19 IST