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Hotspot inventors want bat coverings removed

CHESTER-LE-STREET: The inventors of cricket's 'Hotspot' technology have called for protective coverings to be removed from bats in order for the system to work properly.

The ongoing five-match Ashes series between England and Australia has been dogged by controversial umpiring decisions and there have been several occasions when Hotspot has failed to pick up edges.

Hotspot uses infrared cameras to determine whether the ball has struck the batsman, bat or pad, with any contact supposed to show up as a bright spot on the image.

“The type and thickness of the protective coating unquestionably affects the thermal signature of the Hotspot system,” BBG Sports said in a news release on Saturday.

“In layman's terms the protective coating definitely diminishes Hotspot marks. BBG Sports believes that in order to achieve optimum Hotspot results then the removal of protective coating from bat edges needs to occur.”

Former England captains Michael Vaughan and Alec Stewart described the statement as “embarrassing” and urged BBG Sports managing director Warren Brennan to go back to the drawing board with his system.

“I played in the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s - bat tape and coatings have been around for 30 or 40 years so it's embarrassing for him to suggest it should be banned,” Stewart told BBC radio.

“He has openly admitted there is a fault with his system. If you're a cricketer and you have a flaw in your technique you go back to the nets - I suggest he takes his technology back to the nets.”

Vaughan doubted whether Hotspot could continue as an aid to test umpires.

“He is trying to protect his company,” said Vaughan.

“We just want technology that will present the right result more often than not.

“It shouldn't be down to the game of cricket to help Hotspot, it should be up to Hotspot to help the game of cricket. I don't think Hotspot can carry on as bat manufacturers aren't going to change ... it has to go.”

England's leading batsman Kevin Pietersen was involved in an incident during the drawn third test in Manchester when he was given out caught behind, even though nothing appeared on the Hotspot review.

Earlier this week, Australia's Channel Nine TV alleged that silicone tape on the bats had confused Hotspot during the Ashes series and reported that the International Cricket Council (ICC) was investigating the matter.

The ICC, cricket's governing body, issued an immediate denial and said the report was “totally incorrect”.

England captain Alastair Cook described the claims as a “blatant fabrication” and demanded an apology from the network.

Brennan acknowledged on Saturday that Hotspot was far from foolproof.

“At the end of the day no technology is 100 percent perfect, however at BBG Sports we are continuously researching and developing our products to provide the best technological service for sport,” he said.

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Comments (4) Closed

Aug 11, 2013 06:54am

Tomorrow they will say players should play without clothes on so that their cameras can catch everything in its original and purest way. Looking for perfection, DRS has turned everything upside down, including the reasonably reliable practice of On field umpires referring close calls to the third umpire to make a decision after watching replays on their monitor. If replays are not clear, let the batman get benefit of doubt. Neither a team nor a player can get lucky all the time. Unnecessary induction of complex and expensive technology whose successful application requires several pre-conditions to be fulfilled, has caused more troubles and controversies.

khawaja ikramulhaq
Aug 11, 2013 01:09pm

it seems that almost all batsman are using thicker bats with straight sides...and balls that are not directly hitting the wood are not coming up on hotspot..this has been repeated again and again...whether it is some bats or all bats it is not clear ...obviously it could just be an ordinary varnish that causes it or just the straighter edges

Aug 11, 2013 01:18pm

Lets go back to cricket .. get rid of technology; only umpires calls count.

Aug 12, 2013 10:49am

@Mandeep: plus it reduces the effectiveness of "fixing" games :p