ECB Demands Apology From Australia's Channel 9 For Kevin Pietersen 'Cheat' Claim
The England and Wales Cricket Board will "demand an explanation and apology" from Australia's Channel 9 after it implied that English cricketer Kevin Pietersen "had used silicon tape on his bat to fool Hot Spot," according to Andy Wilson of the London GUARDIAN. Pietersen "took to Twitter to defend himself over the suggestion that he was one of several players seeking to cheat the decision review system, as cricket's crisis over the use of technology deepened." Those suggestions "were dismissed" by Australia captain Michael Clarke -- who described them as "quite funny" -- and later the Int'l Cricket Council. However, "it was Pietersen himself who reacted the most angrily." Pietersen tweeted, "Horrible journalism yet again!" He added, "My name brought up in hotspot crisis suggesting I use silicon to prevent nicks showing! Such hurtful lies" (GUARDIAN, 8/7).
CONFLICTING REPORTS: In London, Oliver Moody reported Pietersen's comments came after reports by Channel 9 and The Australian newspaper that the Int'l Cricket Council "is looking into claims that players have been attaching fibreglass or silicone tape to their bats to disguise thin edges." Former England captain Michael Vaughan, who once joked about Indian players using Vaseline to deceive Hot Spot, "maintained that it was the technology that was at fault, not the players." Vaughan wrote on Twitter, "Silicon tape my A***." He added, "Absolute nonsense...Hotspot looking for any excuse..." The use of Hot Spot "has been bedevilled by controversy, particularly in the present Ashes series" (LONDON TIMES, 8/7). REUTERS' Nick Mulvenney reported the ICC "has denied it is investigating players in the Ashes series" for use of silicone tape on the edge of their bats. ICC CEO Dave Richardson said in a statement, "These media reports are totally incorrect. [ICC GM] Geoff Allardice is meeting with both teams and umpires to see how we can best use the DRS and the available technology going forward in the next two test matches. It has nothing to do with any players." Australian all-rounder Steve Smith "also denied the allegations," telling a news conference that while batsmen used tape to help make their bat last longer, "that did not extend to the use of silicone." Smith said, "It's in the spirit of the game not to do that sort of thing, we haven't discussed anything about trying to cheat the system at all." Hotspot's Australian inventor, Warren Brennan, was reported in the British media "to be preparing a statement on the technology" (REUTERS, 8/7).