Hot Spot inventor claims presenting ICC with 'conclusive proof' against bat coatings

Sydney, Aug 11 : The inventor of the controversial Hot Spot technology used in cricket has urged the International Cricket Council (ICC) to remove protective coatings from the edges of modern bats, and claimed that he has presented the governing body with 'conclusive' proof that the covers disguise nicks.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, breaking his silence on Hot Spot's controversial role in the Ashes, Warren Brennan claimed that the tests by his company, BBG Sports, showed that the coating 'definitely diminishes Hot Spot marks'.

However, the report said that Brennan did not accuse players of taping the edge of bats to beat the Decision Review System (DRS), although the report added that BBG analysed the contentious dismissals of the series, testing several latest-generation bats after the Old Trafford Ashes Test.

Stating that the majority of bats had some form of protective coating that would wrap around on to the edges of the bat, Brennan said that this could change the thermal signature of the front edge of a bat, but not its rear edge.

According to Brennan, the removal of the protective coating from bats' edges needs to occur in order to achieve optimum Hot Spot results, adding that it will allow the best thermal signatures between cricket balls and natural bat timber.

However, the ICC dismissed Brennan's claims, with general manager of cricket Geoff Allardice saying that they would need 'strong evidence' before acting on suspicions that materials such as silicone tape affected the detection of edges, adding that at this stage, they have no intention of changing the rules in the short term.

Agreeing with the ICC, a leading bat manufacturer also said it had been standard practice for decades to wrap a protective coating across the blade and around the front edge of bats to prevent the timber from splintering and prolong the life of the bat.

According to Gray-Nicolls sponsorship and marketing manager Cameron Black, they even sell the coating as a retail item and recommend players to put it on their bats, adding that they have not changed the way they prepare the bats for players and have never used silicone tape.

--ANI (Posted on 12-08-2013)

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