In a significant research inference, the owners of Hot Spot have ruled out the possibility of Vaseline masking the edges of the bat on Hot Spot. Michael Vaughan’s rather reckless tweet holds no merit and V.V.S. Laxman should perhaps be demanding an apology.
The Hot Spot came under the hot seat during the second Test at Trent Bridge, Nottingham in the India England series when the former England captain chose to use the social networking site, Twitter, to post a comment without basis about the Indian batsman possibly using Vaseline on his bat so that his edge would not be discovered on the Hot Spot mechanism used as part of the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS).
Vaughan claimed it was a joke but refused to apologise and while the Indian cricket contingent was clearly unhappy in the manner in which respect was being accorded to them, they decided to focus on the Test which as it turned out resulted in another huge defeat for India at the hands of England, this time by 319 runs to go down 2-0 to England who have a real shot now at the no.1 Test team title unless India stage a dramatic comeback.
However, while Vaughan’s insinuations were debated not because he involved an Indian batsman but because the idea of Vaseline being used to cover edges from being discovered on Hot Spot was unheard of. Vaughan instead turned the heat on himself by the comment because everyone wanted to know how Vaughan arrived at the conclusion unless he himself was somehow involved in an experiment of a devious nature.
While Laxman has not spoken about Vaughan’s tweet, one set of people were not taking the presumption lightly. Instead BBG Sports, the owners of the Hot Spot technology, did some digging of their own to arrive at the idea that there was no way that Vaseline could be used to ensure that edges would go unnoticed.
In a statement released by the company, they make a categorical denial of the possibility of batsman manipulating the system by the method as prescribed by Vaughan. This is what the statement had to say:
We have done testing over the past two days in our office and can conclude that putting vaseline on the side of a cricket bat has no discernible effect on our Hot Spot system. Maybe if you were able to apply 10 millimetres (a centimetre) of vaseline on the side of the bat it would make a difference but we believe that this would be near impossible to achieve.
Judging by the statement above, it not only absolves the batsman of any wrong doing – it may be remembered that no one of note was making that allegation about Laxman – but also, puts Vaughan in a tough spot – although no one appears to be taking him to task to be more careful about his words particularly in a series that has been fought right for the most part. While some would consider ignorance as the best response, perhaps it is time to make people accountable for carelessly using words without compunction of defaming another’s character without good reason.