Cook happy Hot Spot will stay for final Ashes Tests

ENGLAND captain Alastair Cook supports the International Cricket Council’s decision not to scrap the use of Hot Spot technology for the remainder of the Ashes series, despite continuing concerns about its reliability.

Ahead of the fourth Test between England and Australia, which begins this morning at Durham, the ICC sent a representative to speak with both teams and discuss concerns over the technology used as a key part of the Decision Review System.

Both teams were given the opportunity to make suggestions for immediate improvements, however Cook does not feel abandoning Hot Spot, which uses an infrared camera to detect whether a batsman has hit the ball, would have been wise.

“In the middle of a series if you ban it then a very dangerous precedent is set for another series,” he said. “In the past it’s worked extremely well to pick up edges.

“It’s just one of those things where there have been three or four strange occurrences where there has been a noise but no mark.”

Batsman Kevin Pietersen has been at the forefront of the Hot Spot row this week, with Australian media accusing the 33-year-old of covering his bat with silicon to mask the detection of an edge from the technology.

The England and Wales Cricket Board have demanded an apology, however, Cook has revealed players in both dressing rooms have not taken the allegations to heart.

“Both sides have laughed at it,” he said. “We’ve been laughing at it in our dressing room, how strange a story it is and how absurd it is, because it’s just so blatantly not true.”

Cook’s opposite number Michael Clarke chose not to take part in the DRS discussions with the ICC, instead preferring to focus on readying his team to mount a recovery from their 2-0 series deficit.

“I didn’t attend the meeting, I had no need to be there,” he said. “The information I have is that nothing has changed from the first three Test matches, so let’s move forward and get on with the game.

“Our priority is to try and level the series. We’re pretty clear on our views that we want to leave here with a 2-2 draw – if the rain stays away.”

England included bowlers Graham Onions and Chris Tremlett in their 13-man squad, but are likely to field an unchanged line-up from the previous two Test matches.

Australia, however, are mulling over whether to include seamer Jackson Bird for the first time this summer.

Ryan Harris, who has taken 11 wickets in the series, has been dogged by injury problems throughout his career and may struggle to play in a five-day match so soon after the last Test, which finished on Monday.

And Clarke believes Bird would be capable of causing the England batsmen plenty of problems.

“If it is overcast I do know that in Durham the ball can swing and certainly seam,” he said.

“If he is given an opportunity I’m sure he’ll find a way to have success in any conditions.”