Ashes 2013: Kevin Pietersen infuriated by cheat claims as ECB seek apology from Australian broadcasters

Reports in Australia accuse batsmen of using silicone tape on the edge of their bats to deceive Hot Spot technology but players strongly deny claims

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The Independent Online

Kevin Pietersen has responded to claims in Australia that he is one of a number of batsman to cover the edges of their bat with silicone tape to hide possible edges showing up on Hot Spot by labelling the comments as “hurtful lies”.

Australia’s Channel Nine TV made the comments after a number of poor decisions from both the on-field and off-field umpires have brought the Decision Review System (DRS) into question during this summer’s Ashes series.

Pietersen was the latest to suffer a questionable decision when he was given out despite Hot Spot technology failing to show any mark on his bat, with the third umpire Kumar Dharmasena upholding the on-field umpire Tony Hill’s decision due to a noise as the ball passed him.

Warren Brennan, the Australian inventor of Hot Spot, is believed to be preparing a statement in which he will suggest the use of fibreglass coating on some bats is hiding faint edges, meaning they won’t show up on his system.

However, Channel Nine alleged that players are deliberately deceiving the system by using silicone tape, claiming their “concerns” that one batsman in particular – believed to be Pietersen – has employed this method, although they did suggest that Australian batsman  were under suspicion as well.

England seam bowler Graham Onions - who could feature in the fourth Test at his home ground Chester-le-Street - referred to the allegations as "outrageous", while the International Cricket Council denied that they would be investigating the matter.

Pietersen took to his Twitter account to responds, claiming that the accusations were both “hurtful” and “infuriating”.

“Horrible journalism yet again! My name brought up in hotspot crisis suggesting I use silicon to prevent nicks showing! Such hurtful lies”, said Pietersen earlier this morning.

“I am never afraid of getting out! If I nick it, I'll walk.. To suggest I cheat by covering my bat with silicon infuriates me.

“How stupid would I be to try & hide a nick when it could save me on an LBW appeal, like in 1st innings where hotspot showed I nicked it.”

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Kevin Pietersen labels the accusations as "hurtful lies"


Pietersen tweet.jpg
Kevin Pietersen responds to claims he is one of a number of batsmen that are using silicone tape to deceive Hotspot


Australia captain Michael Clarke also believes there is no basis for the allegations, dismissing the idea that any Australian batsman could be cheating.

"I find the accusation quite funny," he said in quotes published by the Australian media.

"I can't talk for everybody. But if it is the case, we are talking about cheating.

"I can tell you there is not one person in the Australian change-rooms who is a cheat.

"That's not the way we play cricket.

"I know no one is going to the extreme of saying 'put this on your bat because it will help you beat Hot Spot'.

"I didn't know there was such a thing you could do to hide nicking the ball on Hot Spot.

"I wouldn't think it would make any difference. I've never heard of anyone doing it."

The news comes after Australian legend Shane Warne criticised some England player’s behaviour in the wake of the drawn third Test which saw the hosts retain the Ashes.

He highlighted both Graeme Swann and Matt Prior for their apparent lack of respect for the game, and said he was surprised by their conduct during interviews during the match.

"A lot of us reporting and commentating on the game were really taken aback by the way the England players were interviewing and behaving in press conferences and after-match interviews," Warne said.

"It has caught the attention of those who report on the game, especially mine.

"Yes, England are a very good cricket team and it is their choice how they convey messages to the press and act on and off the field, and also how they want to represent themselves individually and collectively as a team.

"But to me there were a few moments at Old Trafford when I thought, 'Hang on, who do you think you are?'

"I saw an interview with (Sky Sports') Ian Ward after day two and he said it had been a tough couple of days for England, which it had been, but Graeme Swann replied, 'No, not really. We will just go out and bat now on this flat Old Trafford wicket'.

"Matt Prior was also very smug in his comments, which leads me to think perhaps it is a conscious effort or direction from Andy Flower to be arrogant and dismissive of the opposition. Let me tell you this, if you lose respect for the game and the opposition, cricket has a funny way of biting you on the backside.

"Maybe Flower wants to create an atmosphere of everyone is out to get us. He might even think England play better like that. But it is not working," he added.

"Most of the English guys are good fellas and I sense some of them feel a little uncomfortable. They might be winning but you are a long time retired and individuals have to work out if that is how they want to conduct themselves at press conferences and in public.

"I'm no saint here and I carried on and went over the top plenty of times on the field, but never when speaking at cricket grounds about the game and the opposition.

"I was always respectful to both and felt grateful for the opportunity to have the chance to play international cricket and especially respectful and humble to the opposition.

"Maybe that is why I have picked up on this conscious effort to appear dismissive of everyone."