Chandimal suspended for Oval Test

Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal.

Gros Islet, St Lucia, CMC – Sri Lankan skipper Dinesh Chandimal was suspended for one Test match and fined 100 per cent of his match fee after he was found guilty of altering the condition of the ball during the just concluded second Test match against the West Indies.

The punishment was handed down today by Javagal Srinath of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees and means Chandimal will miss the final day-night Test match at Kensington Oval which begins on Saturday.

Additionally, Sri Lankan coach Chandika Hathurusinghe and manager Asanka Gurusinha were also charged with a breach of Article 2.3.1, a Level 3 offence which relates to “conduct that is contrary to the spirit of the game”.

They have been charged with their involvement in the Sri Lankan cricket team’s refusal to take to the field at the start of Saturday’s play, causing a two-hour delay in the start of play.

Dinesh Chandimal will miss the final Test match at Kensington Oval

Chandimal had been reported by on-field umpires Aleem Dar and Ian Gould, as well as television umpire Richard Kettleborough on day two, after they had concerns over the methods Sri Lanka had been using to maintain the ball.

The 28-year-old  Chandimal had denied the allegations.

He is the fourth cricketer to be found guilty of committing the offence within the last three months. Back in March, Australian captain Steve Smith, along with vice-captain David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were all banned after being found guilty of ball-tampering.

In a press release issued by the ICC today, it was revealed that Chandimal was given the maximum sentence for the offence; two suspension points and a fine of 100 per cent of his match fee.

Two suspension points equate to a ban from one Test, two ODIs or two T20Is, whichever comes first. Furthermore, because two suspension points correspond to four demerit points, it has also been added to Chandimal’s disciplinary record.

During a hearing held after the Test match where video evidence was produced, Chandimal admitted to putting something in his mouth, but could not recall what it was.

“After reviewing the footage of the incident, it is clear that Dinesh Chandimal 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,” Srinath said.

“The footage shows that upon receiving the ball, Chandimal took something from his pocket and put it in his mouth. After sucking or chewing whatever he put in his mouth for a few seconds, he 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, he 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,” he added.

ICC Chief Executive David Richardson in supporting the punishment handed down, said he would be seeking to have stiffer sanctions imposed on those persons found guilty of similar offences.

“The ICC fully supports the match officials in their decision and will continue to do so in any other such instances. The strong message from last month’s ICC Cricket Committee was that there needs to be stiffer sanctions for offences such as changing the condition of the ball, and as such, we will be recommending to the ICC Board at next month’s annual conference in Dublin to upgrade this to a Level Three offence,” Richardson said.

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