The controversy surrounding the use of technology in this Ashes series has reached a whole new level, after batsmen of both teams have come under scrutiny for allegedly using silicon-based tape to prevent edges from showing on Hot Spot.

Hot Spot, the thermal imaging technology which is used to determine whether the ball has struck the batsman, bat or pad, came under intense criticism during the third Test at Old Trafford.

In the first inning, England believed Australian batsman Steven Smith had edged the ball to wicketkeeper Matt Prior off the bowling of James Anderson, but Smith was initially given not out by the on-field umpire.

Having decided to utilise a DRS review, England captain Alastair Cook was left bemused as Hot Spot failed to show any meaningful contact between bat and ball, even though a noise was clearly audible as the ball passed the bat and Snicko confirmed such doubts, the shape of the recorded soundwave clearly hinting that there had, indeed, been an edge.

In the second inning, England's Kevin Pietersen was given out after edging the ball through to Australia wicketkeeper Brad Haddin. Pietersen reviewed the decision but, despite replays providing little evidence that he had indeed feathered the ball and Hot Spot failing to show any contact, the 32-year-old was forced to walk.

Australian TV network Channel Nine claimed Pietersen' dismissal prompted a probe from the International Cricket Council, who have already come under intense scrutiny throughout the first three tests for a series of poor decisions by the third umpires.

In the first Test at Trent Bridge, Jonathan Trott was given out lbw, despite clearly batting the ball onto his pad, while in the first inning at Old Trafford, Usman Khawaja was given out after a DRS review, despite TV replays showing clear daylight between ball and bat.

Concealing the thin edges with tape would prevent inside edges from showing on lbw decisions, but Channel Nine's report claimed that the tape may have only been applied to the outside, thicker, edges of the bat.

The ICC's new general manager of cricket, Geoff Allardice, will be in Durham for the fourth Ashes Test, due to begin this Friday at Chester-le-Street, as cricket's governing body is determined to shed light on the latest controversy to affect the sport.


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