Kevin Pietersen awarded libel damages over Hot Spot-silicone tape controversy

An advertisement by Specsavers took a dig at Kevin Pietersen after he was accused of using silicone tapes on bat to get away with Hot Spot © Getty Images

London: Oct 8, 2013

England cricketer Kevin Pietersen was on Tuesday awarded undisclosed libel damages over an advertisement that suggested he had tampered with his bat during this year’s Ashes series against Australia.

The advert for opticians Specsavers showed a picture of the batsman alongside the statement: “‘Bat tampering’ in the Ashes? Apparently Hot Spot should’ve gone to Specsavers.”

Pietersen was accused by an Australian television channel of using silicone tape during the series to prevent the Hot Spot decision-review technology from detecting when he had hit the ball, but he denied the allegations.
Pietersen was not present for Tuesday’s hearing at London’s High Court, when his solicitor, Louise Price, told the court that the advert had appeared on Specsavers’ Twitter and Facebook pages, as well as in several newspapers and magazines.

She said the allegations of bat tampering were both completely untrue and completely unfounded. Specsavers Optical Group Ltd accepted that Pietersen had not behaved in the manner suggested.

The company, which had already removed the advert from circulation, apologised and agreed to pay him substantial damages and his legal costs.