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Sri Lanka defends cricket team over ball tampering allegation

18 June, 2018, 01:29 | Author: John Swanson
  • Devon Smith and Kraigg Brathwaite put on a 59-run stand for the opening wicket

A late strike by speedster Shannon Gabriel gave West Indies control of the second Test against Sri Lanka, but a ball-change controversy marred proceedings, headlining the third day and threatening to disrupt the series here yesterday.

The International Cricket Council levelled the charge a day after the Sri Lankan skipper delayed the start of the play on the 3rd day of the 2nd Test.

Sri Lanka's players then took to the field at 10.50am local time, 50 minutes after the scheduled start, but did not start play for another 40 minutes as the dispute continued with captain Dinesh Chandimal arguing with the umpires.

Officials penalised the Sri Lankans five extra runs for the holdout, but the Sri Lankan camp maintained that despite eventually taking the field, the team was still playing under protest.

In a pre-emptive move on Saturday evening, Sri Lanka Cricket issued a media release saying it would defend any "unwarranted allegation" against any player. The umpires suspected that the visitors' skipper Dinesh Chandimal changed the condition of the ball and made a decision to change it which didn't go down well with the team.

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The Sri Lankan board sent out a statement defending its players. It was done to ensure the continuity of the match.

Chandimal is accused of breaching Level 2.2.9 of the ICC Code of Conduct for "changing the condition of the ball".

The video evidence will be used in the hearing which will also be attended by the match officials as well as the Sri Lankan team management.

Steve Smith and David Warner were stripped of the captaincy and vice-captaincy respectively and banned from playing worldwide cricket for 12 months.

Earlier, Australia's Cameron Bancroft, Sri Lanka's Dasun Shanaka (2017) and South Africa's Faf du Plessis (2016) were also held for the same charge.

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Five penalty runs were added to the West Indies total.

That match was the only Test in the game's history to be forfeited after Pakistan refused to return to the field.

It was the wicketkeeper-batsman's 78-run fifth-wicket partnership with Roston Chase (41) which threatened to earn the West Indies a significant first innings advantage.

In its second innings, Sri Lanka lost Kusal Perera to a thick edge behind off Shannon Gabriel two overs before stumps.

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