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Chandimal Appeals Against Match Referee's Findings in Ball Tampering Controversy

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: June 21, 2018, 9:41 PM IST
Chandimal Appeals Against Match Referee's Findings in Ball Tampering Controversy

Umpires take a look at the ball in the second Test between West Indies and Sri Lanka. (AFP)

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New Delhi: Dinesh Chandimal has appealed against match referee Javagal Srinath’s findings that saw him suspended for one Test after being found guilty of changing the condition of the ball in the second Test between West Indies and Sri Lanka at Gros Islet.

The ICC have appointed English barrister Michael Beloff as the Judicial Commissioner to hear Chandimal's appeal. ICC announced this information on social media and their psot read: "Chairman of the ICC Code of Conduct Commission, The Hon Michael Beloff QC, has been appointed as the Judicial Commissioner to hear Dinesh Chandimal’s appeal. The hearing will take place on Friday, 22 June."




On-field umpires Aleem Dar and Ian Gould, and third umpire Richard Kettleborough had charged Chandimal after play 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.

The officials laid the charge after television footage from the final session’s play on Friday appeared to show the Sri Lanka captain taking something out from his left pocket and putting it in his mouth and then rubbing the surface of the ball with his saliva which the umpires viewed as an attempt to change its condition.




Besides being found guilty of changing the condition of the ball, Chandimal, 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”. While Chandimal has appealed, he could stand to miss both Tests against South Africa in July and further ODIs if found guilty.

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 defence and the fact remains it was an artificial substance.

"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."

According to ICC chief executive Dave Richardson, the cricket committee "viewed" ball tampering as "cheating" which went against the spirit of cricket. "Therefore, they (committee) were very strong that we need to increase the sanctions available for that type of conduct," Richardson told ESPNcricinfo. "So we are talking moving both ball tampering and personal abuse, foul language upto Level 3."

The coach and the manager 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.
First Published: June 21, 2018, 1:01 PM IST
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