Chandimal charged with changing the condition of the ball

Tanya Simon
June 17, 2018

The umpires chose to change the match ball, which was 44.3 overs old, ahead of the third day in St Lucia, prompting Sri Lanka's players to stay in their dressing room.

Their players protested the charge - and the subsequent penalty of a ball change and the award of five extra runs to the opposition - by refusing to take the field at the start of the third day's play.

Sri Lanka, who had won the first test of the three-match series, had made 253 in the first innings, with the Windies surpassing that during the second session, on a dramatic day when the ball was changed at 44.3 overs old, which prompted the visitors to stay in their dressing room.

The statement also said that Sports Minister Faiszer Musthapa, along with SLC chief executive, Ashley de Silva, and head of global cricket, Chandima Mapatuna, all assured the team management that they would "take all necessary steps to defend any player, in the event any unwarranted allegation is brought against a member of the team".

"The team management has informed us that Sri Lankan players have not engaged in any wrongdoing".

Sri Lanka on Saturday night said that it will defend the National cricket team over ball tampering allegations which surfaced in the West Indies.

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Cricket's governing body, the ICC, tweeted that any disciplinary issues would be addressed at the end of play.

Opening batsman Devon Smith progressed to 60 at lunch in partnership with Roston Chase with the home side at 154 for three.

But after initially appearing to be prepared to resume the match, the Sri Lankans hesitated even as they were making their way out to the middle, resulting in further discussions before they were finally persuaded to get the day's play underway two hours later than scheduled. Match referee Javagal Srinath and the Sri Lankan support staff were seen having an animated discussion before the start of the third day's play. It took another 40 minutes for play to finally begin. It was also reported that the umpires had been concerned about the condition of the ball on at the end of Day 2, although there was no official statement. "It all happened this morning". But based on this official denial, it seems likely that the charge will be contested. Allrounder Dasun Shanaka was charged for a similar offence by the ICC in November 2017 and in that case the team accepted the sanction.

They were assessed five penalty runs although that relatively minor punishment was inconsequential compared to the Sri Lankans´ obvious anger at being accused of what amounts to cheating.

The Pakistanis did not return to the field after tea on the fourth day and the umpires deemed this to mean they had forfeited the match, even though Pakistan later said they were willing to play.

Second time around the tourists lost Kusal Perera for 20 en route to 34 for one - a deficit of 13.

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