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SBD Global/August 9, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Int'l Cricket Council To Keep Hot Spot For Remainder Of England-Australia Test Series

England captain Alastair Cook 'laughed off' reports he used silicone tape to evade Hot Spot technology.
Replay technology Hot Spot will "continue to be used for the remainder of the Ashes series despite an admission" Thursday from the Int'l Cricket Council that the technology had "not performed as effectively" as in past series, according to the London TELEGRAPH. The Decision Review System, "and most significantly Hot Spot, has come under intense review during the series which will resume with the fourth Ashes Test at Chester-le-Street" Friday. Amid the controversy the ICC has flown ICC GM Geoff Allardice to "speak to both teams in discussions described as 'very constructive.'" Allardice: "We acknowledge that the DRS has not performed as effectively during the past three Tests as it has in other series. 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" (TELEGRAPH, 8/8). REUTERS' Tony Jimenez reported Allardice pledged that "the ICC would continue to do all it could to make DRS better, and how the third umpire interprets what the system produces." Allardice said, "Technology is evolving. During the (third) test at Old Trafford 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 minimize 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" (REUTERS, 8/8).

INVENTOR REPORTEDLY CONCERNED: The AFP reported Australian TV channel Channel Nine on Thursday "repeated claims that cricketers are using silicone tape on bats" to cheat Hot Spot readings, saying that "the inventor has raised concerns" with the sport's authorities. The channel "unleashed a storm of controversy when it alleged on Wednesday that players in the current Ashes series were using the tape on their bats to avoid nicks being detected by the thermal imaging system." The ICC said that the claims "were incorrect and it was not investigating any alleged attempts by players to 'cheat' Hot Spot." Channel Nine "renewed its allegations on its evening news bulletin on Thursday," saying Hot Spot inventor Warren Brennan had raised "serious concerns" with the ICC about flaws with the system. Channel Nine said, "He [Brennan] fears that (silicone) tape used on bats can fool the technology. In short, an edge simply won't show up." Channel Nine said that "as of late Thursday Brennan was refusing all interviews" (AFP, 8/8).

COOK LAUGHS OFF CLAIMS: In London, Richard Hobson reported England captain Alastair Cook "became the latest England player to laugh off reports that batsmen are using silicone tape to prevent Hot Spot from detecting edges." Cook added his voice to the call from the England and Wales Cricket Board for an apology from Channel Nine. Cook: "Both sides have laughed at it, certainly we have in our dressing room. We think it is a strange story because it is just so blatantly untrue." Brennan said in '11 that he knew Hot Spot was "not 100 per cent accurate." Brennan said, "Over the years, we have found that occasionally we do not get hot spots when we are expecting them, particularly on the faint edges" (LONDON TIMES, 8/8).

HEAT ON ICC: In Sydney, Andrew Wu reported the ICC will decide "whether the controversial Hot Spot technology remains in place for the return Ashes series in Australia." Hot Spot and the decision review system "will be high on the agenda" for the ICC's chief execs' committee when it meets next month. The committee "will then make a recommendation to the ICC board, which has the power to decide whether Hot Spot remains in use in the DRS" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 8/9).

HAWK-EYE FOUNDER CHIMES IN: In London, Owen Gibson reported football goal line technology Hawk-Eye founder Paul Hawkins, who created the technology to "provide broadcasters with a computer system" that could determine whether leg-before-wicket decisions were correct and has gone on to utilize it in tennis and other sports, said that cricket "had perhaps adopted the technology without sufficient trials." Hawkins: "What cricket hasn't done as much as other sports is test anything. This [football's Goal Decision System] has been very, very heavily tested whereas cricket hasn't really undergone any testing. It's almost like it has tested it in live conditions so they are inheriting broadcast technology rather than developing officiating technology." Hawkins, who last year sold Hawk-Eye to Sony and is working to develop systems to help baseball and U.S. football officials in the U.S., said that "technology developed for broadcasters was necessarily different to that designed to aid officials." 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 add to the broadcast whereas the requirements for officiating obviously are different" (GUARDIAN, 8/8).
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