Hot Spot to remain for final 2 Ashes tests
CHESTER-LE-STREET, England (AP) — The much-criticized Hot Spot technology will remain in place for the final two Ashes tests despite the series being hit by several contentious calls and claims that players may have tampered with bats to avoid detection.
Representatives from the England and Australia teams held a meeting with International Cricket Council general manager Geoff Allardice on Wednesday, after which both sides came out in support of the Decision Review System — which includes the use of Hot Spot’s thermal-imaging cameras that are used to detect if the ball makes contact with the bat.
“I think it would be a very dangerous precedent to set in the middle of a series,” England captain Alastair Cook said Thursday of the option of getting rid of DRS for the fourth and fifth tests.
Both England and Australia have contacted the ICC during the series to complain about dismissals of their batsmen, and Allardice acknowledged that DRS “has not performed as effectively during the past three tests as it has in other series.”
“The purpose of my visit was to meet with the teams to listen to their feedback, and to identify potential improvements to DRS moving forward,” Allardice said. “It was very encouraging to hear both teams reiterate their support for the use of DRS.
“Some of the ideas that were suggested during the meetings could improve the system, and will be considered further by the ICC.”
The controversy over DRS heated up following allegations by Australian broadcaster Channel Nine this week that silicon tape might have been attached to the edges of bats to “fool” the DRS.
That has angered members of both teams, particularly standout England batsman Kevin Pietersen, who slammed the accusations as “hurtful lies.”
The ICC said Wednesday it wouldn’t be investigating the claims, which Cook described Thursday as “complete fabrication.”
“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,” said Cook, who is demanding an apology from Channel Nine. “It’s not great when you’re called a cheat.”
Unlike Cook, Australia captain Michael Clarke didn’t attend the meeting with Allardice. He is growing weary of a subject that has dominated news conferences this series.
“I prefer not to take about it anymore,” Clarke said Thursday. “For me, the focus is on cricket.”
The inventor of Hawkeye, which is used in cricket to determine the path of a delivery, mainly for lbw decisions, believes Hot Spot needed to undergo more tests before being adopted by cricket’s governing bodies.
“It’s almost like it’s tested it in live conditions so they are inheriting broadcast technology rather than developing officiating technology,” Paul Hawkins said.
“Hot Spot is a fantastic piece of technology and has been great for viewers — and in a broadcast world, things that work often really adds to the broadcast — whereas the requirements for officiating are obviously different.”
England has retained the Ashes after going 2-0 up after three tests. Australia can still draw the series by winning the fourth test starting at Chester-le-Street starting Friday and then the fifth test at The Oval starting Aug. 21.
AP Sports Writer Rob Harris contributed to this report.