Hot Spot inventor calls for removal of bat coatings

Aug 11, 2013, 01:43 IST | AFP

The inventor of cricket's controversial Hot Spot system has called for the removal of coatings on bats to improve the accuracy of his device.

The coatings are, however, perfectly legal under current regulations. Australia’s Channel Nine alleged on Wednesday that players in the current Ashes series between England and Australia were using silicone tape on their bats to avoid nicks being detected by the Hot Spot thermal imaging system.

Jacques Kallis
South Africa’s Jacques Kallis inspects his bat during the 2011 World Cup. Representative pic

The allegations prompted swift denials from both teams while the International Cricket Council (ICC) said the claims were incorrect.

However, the ICC confirmed that the Australian inventor of Hot Spot, Warren Brennan, raised concerns with them this week over the effect of bat coatings on the technology.

“Our technology has been criticised for fine edges that have gone undetected. More than anyone else, BBG Sports (Brennan’s company) wanted to know why,” said Brennan.

Brennan’s statement said BBG’s conclusive finding after three days’ testing of bats was that the type and thickness of the protective coating “unquestionably” affects the thermal signature of the Hot Spot system.

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

“This will allow for the best thermal signatures between cricket balls and natural timber cricket bats.” 

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