The England cricket team have declined to give any comment on allegations that they were suspected of ball-tampering, during their tour match against the Sri Lanka Development XI.
It was first brought to the attention of match referee, Manoj Mendis, that the condition of the ball looked suspicious.
Speaking exclusively to The Times, a UK national based newspaper, Mendis, said: “There was a bit of dryness and, I’d say, roughness on one side…I brought it to the attention of [England tour manager] Phil Neale, that the ball may have been altered a bit.”
Mendis, however, stated that it was just opinion, and that he had not seen any suspicious behaviour from the England bowlers at any point in time.
“It was just my opinion, I did not see any bowler do anything, but there was suspicion based purely on the condition of the ball” he said.
England Vice-Captain, Alastair Cook, who was rested for the match, spoke to Mendis and told him that the ball’s condition had become that way, due to the dry nature of the pitch.
“Alastair Cook is a gentleman, so we concluded that it was fine. But I also have to do my job. In my report I stressed that it was only suspicion, not evidence” Mendis added.
However, after talking to Cook and Neale about the incident, Mendis looked more closely at the footage of the game and did not seem to notice anything that could be questioned.
“I tried to watch more closely afterwards and did not see anything” he said.
With England being suspected of ball-tampering, all eyes were on the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), who, refused to give any comment on the incident.