England cricketer Kevin Pietersen denied a television report that he may be among players using silicone tape on their bats to cheat the review system being used in the Ashes series against Australia.
Australia’s Channel Nine reported some players are using the tape to prevent the Hot Spot infrared system from determining if the ball hit their bats.
The broadcaster singled out Pietersen’s dismissal in the second innings of the third Test at Old Trafford this week. The batsman was ruled out caught behind after a noise was heard indicating a nick, but no mark was shown on his bat on Hot Spot.
Pietersen today called the report “horrible journalism” and “hurtful lies.”
“I am never afraid of getting out!” he said on his Twitter account. “If I nick it, I’ll walk. To suggest I cheat by covering my bat with silicon infuriates me.”
Channel Nine said that members of the Australian team it didn’t identify may also be using silicone tape.
“I don’t think any of us have done anything with silicone on our bats,” Australia all-rounder Steven Smith was quoted as saying by the Sydney Morning Herald. “We put fiberglass tape on the front, and that’s purely for protection of the bat and to make it last longer.”
Channel Nine also reported Geoff Allardice, the International Cricket Council’s general manager of cricket operations, was flying to Durham, England, where the fourth Test begins in two days, to investigate the matter.
Cricket’s governing body said today in a statement that Allardice is going to Durham to meet with the teams about the umpire decision review system being used and that no probe was being planned.
The Laws of Cricket allow players to use tape to protect or repair their bats.
England won the opening two games of the five-match series and retained the Ashes two days ago after a draw in the rain-shortened third Test.
To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Bensch in London at email@example.com.