Cook 'laughed' at bat tape stories

England captain Alastair Cook says suggestions that his players use silicone tape on their bats to avoid edges being detected by Hot Spot technology are "strange and absurd".

Australia's Channel Nine television accused England batsman Kevin Pietersen of the practice during the Ashes, a claim angrily denied by the player. Australia captain Michael Clarke says he found the story "amusing" but wants to focus on the fourth Test at the Emirates Durham, which starts on Thursday.

England retained the Ashes in just 14 days of action courtesy of a rain-affected draw at Old Trafford. They lead 2-0 in the five-Test series so need one more draw to win the series outright.

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