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Sri Lanka's Captain, Coach and Manager Charged For Conduct Contrary to Spirit of the Game

PTI | Updated: June 20, 2018, 2:47 PM IST
Sri Lanka's Captain, Coach and Manager Charged For Conduct Contrary to Spirit of the Game

ICC

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Dubai: ICC Chief Executive David Richardson on Tuesday charged Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal, coach Chandika Hathurusinghe and manager Asanka Gurusinha 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”. The trio have the right to appeal, but if found guilty, Chandimal, the coach and the manager could all stand to miss both Tests against South Africa in July, in addition to further ODIs.

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 substance out from his left pocket and putting them in his mouth, before applying the artificial substance to the ball which the umpires viewed as an attempt to change its condition.

Chandimal had pleaded not guilty to breaching Article 2.2.9 of the ICC Code of Conduct after which ICC match referee Javagal 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.

If any of the three plead not guilty, then the ICC, as per Article 5.2 of the ICC Code of Conduct, will appoint a Judicial Commissioner from its Code of Conduct Commission to determine the matter.
First Published: June 19, 2018, 11:43 PM IST
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