Kevin Pietersen today angrily responded to what he described as "horrible lies" linking him and other players with attempts to hoodwink HotSpot by applying silicon tape to their bats.
After a succession of Decision Review System (DRS) controversies in the ongoing Ashes series, reports surfaced overnight of an alleged new practice among players designed to defeat the thermal imaging technology which demonstrates bat-on-ball contact.
Pietersen is one of several players to have been affected by DRS incidents this summer, given out caught-behind on the final day as England retained the Ashes at Emirates Old Trafford even though HotSpot indicated he had not hit the ball.
This morning, responding to the stories, he tweeted: "Horrible journalism yet again!
"My name brought up in hotspot crisis, suggesting I use silicon to prevent nicks showing! Such hurtful lies."
Pietersen went on to deny being a cheat, adding: "I am never afraid of getting out! If I nick it, I'll walk.. To suggest I cheat by covering my bat with silicon infuriates me.."
Horrible journalism yet again! My name brought up in hotspot crisis suggesting I use silicon to prevent nicks showing! Such hurtful lies..👎— Kevin Pietersen (@KP24) August 7, 2013
Australia captain Michael Clarke also believes there is no basis for the allegations.
"I find the accusation quite funny," he said in quotes carried by the Australian media.
"I can't talk for everybody. But if it is the case, we are talking about cheating.
I am never afraid of getting out! If I nick it, I'll walk.. To suggest I cheat by covering my bat with silicon infuriates me..— Kevin Pietersen (@KP24) August 7, 2013
"I can tell you there is not one person in the Australian change-rooms who is a cheat.
"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 HotSpot'.
"I didn't know there was such a thing you could do to hide nicking the ball on HotSpot.
"I wouldn't think it would make any difference. I've never heard of anyone doing it."