Kevin Pietersen unsure what caused the Hot Spot Ashes series 'stinker'

England batsman says players still have faith in the technology despite Ashes series problems

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 26 September, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 26 September, 2013, 1:38am

England batsman Kevin Pietersen says the Hot Spot technology "had an absolute stinker" during the Ashes series, but insists that players remain supportive of its use.

The decision review system (DRS) came in for criticism during the series, which England won 3-0, with Hot Spot's infra-red imaging falling under particular scrutiny after several inaccurate decisions.

Pietersen became embroiled in the debate when Australia's Channel 9 television network claimed he used silicone tape in a bid to prevent Hot Spot from detecting when the ball had hit his bat.

The South Africa-born batsman laughed off the claims at the time but says he was bewildered by the accusation that he was a cheat.

"Hot Spot had an absolute stinker this summer for whatever reason, but no-one was taping their bats with any artificial strapping or silicone," Pietersen said.

"I've had the same strapping on my bat since 1995, when I became a professional. All the pros put fibreglass tape on their bat and I copied everyone else. Every cricketer in the world does it.

"I woke up one morning in the team hotel and my Twitter had just blown up. People were calling me a cheat and some horrible expletives, and I didn't know what was going on.

"I had a look at it and saw they had broken the news [in the early morning London time] on Channel 9 and my image was used and referenced.

"I clearly denied it straight away on Twitter and it was done and dusted from my mind. It didn't really bother me. I had a lot more things to worry about than the strapping on my bat.

"It was ridiculous. It was just somebody being naughty and had no bearing on anything I did, and it won't in the future."

Despite the Hot Spot controversies, Pietersen said the technology retained the support of most players.

"We just don't understand how Hot Spot didn't work as well as it had done before," he said.

"We've never had these issues and I know the players are happy with Hot Spot and with DRS. There are no issues."

Pietersen, who was named on Tuesday in England's squad for the return Ashes series, said he would approach the tour in a positive fashion after putting niggling knee problems behind him.

"It was tough, but I've done some incredible rehab in the last three weeks and it feels like I have a different knee. I'm feeling so good on it," said Pietersen, 33, whose next test appearance will be his 100th.

"For the first time since February, I am totally pain-free and I am continuing to do the right things. It was probably the best decision I made for my career not to have surgery because if I had done, I would be out until next February.

"When you get to 33, you are definitely in your second cycle of your career and it is a case of ticking all the right boxes to keep you on the field."