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Cricket | Ashes Tour

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Ashes players angry about allegations



England and Australia players rejected claims Wednesday that bats may have been tampered with during the Ashes series to avoid detection by infrared cameras, while cricket chiefs sought to assure them about the quality of the technology.

The International Cricket Council has sent a senior official to Durham ahead of the fourth test to address player concerns about the Decision Review System after several contentious calls during the Ashes.

The ICC, though, has yet to respond to claims by Australian broadcaster Channel Nine that silicon tape might have been attached to the edges of bats "to fool" the DRS.

The system uses Hot Spot's thermal-imaging cameras to enable the third umpire to review on-field decisions at the request of either the on-field umpires or the teams on the field.

Allegations that players have tried to dupe the DRS have enraged both teams.

"My name brought up in hotspot crisis, suggesting I use silicon to prevent nicks showing! Such hurtful lies," England batsman Kevin Pietersen wrote on Twitter.

In one of several contentious DRS decisions, Pietersen was given out caught-behind during the third test even though Hot Spot indicated he had not hit the ball.

"I am never afraid of getting out! If I nick it, I'll walk," Pietersen tweeted. "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."

Australia captain Michael Clarke dismissed the allegations as "quite funny."

"I can tell you there is not one person in the Australian change-rooms who is a cheat," Clarke was quoted as saying by Australian media. "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."

England retained the Ashes after the third test was abandoned as a draw on Monday, leaving the hosts with a 2-0 lead with two tests remaining in the series.

ICC director of operations Geoff Allardice is flying into England ahead of the fourth test starting Friday to speak to the teams and coaches about wider concerns about how DRS is implemented.

The ICC said the meeting with the teams on Thursday will be to "address their concerns on the DRS and to also assure them that the ICC is doing everything within its powers and resources to improve the performance of the DRS."

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