COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, CMC – Sri Lanka are hoping captain Dinesh Chandimal, coach Chandika Hathurusingha and manager Asanka Gurusinha avoid a ban for their actions in the recent series against West Indies, allowing them to be available for the two-Test series against South Africa starting later this month.
The management trio recently pleaded guilty to a Level 3 offence of breaching the Spirit of Cricket, after the Sri Lanka side refused to take the field on the third morning of the second Test in St Lucia last month.
They face a minimum punishment of four suspension points which translates into a two-Test ban but Sri Lanka plan to argue there were mitigating circumstances for the trio’s actions.
“We are hoping that we can convince the ICC to reduce the punishment. But that will come down to what we can present to the ICC in support of that argument,” Gurusinha said.
“We are hoping we will have a good case. We have accepted the charge as well. It’s not like we are appealing everything. We are hoping that especially these two guys – Chandimal and Hathurusingha – will be there [for the South Africa Tests].”
Controversy erupted at the Darren Sammy Cricket Ground when umpires credited West Indies with five penalty runs and also changed the ball, after concluding that the ball’s condition had been altered on the second day.
In protest, the players stayed off the field, forcing play to begin 1-1/2 hours late, after team management discussed the matter with Sri Lanka Cricket officials.
Chandimal was subsequently charged and found guilty of ball tampering and suspended for the final Test of the three-match series in Barbados.
The series ended drawn 1-1 after West Indies won the opening Test in Trinidad by 226 runs, drew the second before going down by four wickets in the final game.
Sri Lanka’s opening Test against South Africa begins July 12 in Galle.