Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal has been banned for one Test after being found guilty of changing the condition of the ball during the second Test against the West Indies in St Lucia.
In addition to being suspended for the third Test, which will be a day-night fixture in Barbados, he was also fined 100 percent of his match fee and handed two suspension points.
However, Chandimal, along with head coach Chandika Hathurusinghe and manager Asanka Gurusinha, could miss another two to four Tests after they were charged with “conduct contrary to the spirit of the game” since the team refused to take to the field for nearly two hours on the third day of the second Test.
Chandimal pleaded not guilty to the ball tampering charge levelled against him by the International Cricket Council (ICC). As a result, a hearing was held after the second Test.
Video footage indicated that Chandimal took sweets out of his pocket and put them in his mouth. Just a few seconds later, he licked his fingers and applied saliva onto the ball, which is seen as him altering the condition of the ball.
In an ICC release, match referee Javagal Srinath said: “After reviewing the footage of the incident, it is clear that Dinesh applied an artificial substance to the ball, namely saliva containing the residue of something he had in his mouth, an action which is prohibited under the ICC Code of Conduct.
“The footage shows that upon receiving the ball, Dinesh took something from his pocket and put it into his mouth. After sucking or chewing whatever he put in his mouth for a few seconds, Dinesh then proceeded to spit on his finger and polish the ball with his saliva which would have contained the residue of the artificial substance that he had in his mouth, on two separate occasions.
“During the hearing, Dinesh admitted to putting something in his mouth but couldn’t remember what it was, which I found unconvincing as a defence and the fact remains it was an artificial substance.
“In the pre-series briefing held on the back of the ICC Cricket Committee recommendations, both the sides were explicitly told that the match officials would be extra vigilant towards all aspects of fair play, including changing the condition of the ball and as such it is disappointing that this has happened.”
Chandimal can lodge an appeal, but has to do so within 48 hours.
However, if the 28-year-old is found guilty of the “conduct contrary to the spirit of the game” charge, he could be sidelined for the two Tests against South Africa next month and part of the ODI series as well.
But, if Chandimal pleads not guilty, the ICC will “appoint a Judicial Commissioner from its Code of Conduct Commission to determine the matter”.