Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal suspended for one Test

Dinesh Chandimal
Dinesh Chandimal

Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal has been suspended for one Test after being found guilty of ball-tampering.

The International Cricket Council announced the punishment on Tuesday following an incident during the drawn second Test against the West Indies in Gros Islet over the weekend.

According to ICC match referee Javagal Srinath, Chandimal applied saliva containing the residue of something he had in his mouth to the ball.

The 28-year-old batsman pleaded not guilty but Srinath said he found Chandimal's defence "unconvincing" when, during his hearing, the Sri Lanka skipper claimed he could not remember what he put in his mouth.

Chandimal will miss the third and final Test against the West Indies, which starts on Saturday, while he has also been fined 100 per cent of his match fee and given two suspension points.

Srinath said in an ICC statement: "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."

South Africa captain Faf du Plessis was fined his match fee after using mints to alter the condition of the ball during the second Test against Australia in Hobart in 2016.

Earlier this year, Australia trio Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were all handed lengthy bans in the wake of a ball-tampering scandal that erupted during the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town.

Captain Smith and his deputy Warner were suspended for 12 months by Cricket Australia for their role in the incident which saw Bancroft - who was banned for nine months - rough the ball with sandpaper.

Chandimal, meanwhile, is facing further sanctions from the ICC after being charged over another incident during the St Lucia Test.

Sri Lanka coach Chandika Hathurusingha and manager Asanka Gurusinha have also been cited after the start of Saturday's play was delayed by two hours after the tourists remained in their dressing room.

That came after Sri Lanka had been penalised five penalty runs with umpires Aleem Dar and Ian Gould having ruled they had altered the condition of the ball.

The ICC said: "The three have been charged for their involvement in the Sri Lanka cricket team's refusal to take to the field in St Lucia at the start of Saturday's play, which caused a two-hour delay in the start of play. This action is alleged to amount to a serious breach of the Laws of Cricket and to be contrary to the spirit of the game."

The West Indies lead the three-match series 1-0 heading into the final Test, which begins in Bridgetown on Saturday.

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