Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal has decided to appeal against match referee Javagal Srinath’s findings in the ball tampering controversy during the second Test against Windies; which saw him getting suspended for a Test and fined 100% of his match fees.
On Tuesday, ICC Chief Executive David Richardson has charged Chandimal and coach Chandika Hathurusingha and manager Asanka Gurusinha with a breach of Article 2.3.1, a Level 3 offense, which relates to “conduct that is contrary to the spirit of the game”.
If Chandimal is found guilty, he stands to miss both Tests against South Africa in July and further ODIs, despite his appeal.
Aleem Dar and Ian Gould, the on-field umpires and third umpire Richard Kettleborough had charged Chandimal, on Saturday, for changing the condition of the ball, in breach of clause 41.3 of the ICC Standard Test Match, ODI and T20I Playing Conditions.
Officials saw the TV footage from the final session’s play on Friday, which showed Chandimal taking out a substance from his left pocket, putting it in his mouth, and applying the artificial substance on the ball.
Chandimal had pleaded not guilty to breaching Article 2.2.9 of the ICC Code of Conduct after which ICC match referee Srinath held a hearing following the conclusion of the St Lucia Test.
"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," Srinath said in the release.
“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 defense and the fact remains it was an artificial substance,” Srinath said in the release.
He concluded the release saying, "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."
As the cricket committee saw the ball tampering as “cheating” and it went against the spirit of the game, ICC CEO Dave Richardson told ESPNCricinfo, "Therefore, they (committee) were very strong that we need to increase the sanctions available for that type of conduct. So we are talking about moving both ball tampering and personal abuse, foul language upto Level 3."
(with news18.com/cricketnext inputs)