Sri Lankan cricketers led by Dinesh Chandimal refused to take the field on the third day of the ongoing St. Lucia Test against West Indies on Saturday (June 16) after they were accused by match officials of altering the condition of the ball.
The on-field umpires – Aleem Dar and Ian Gould – had asked for the change of ball before the start of Day 3 as they were not pleased with the condition of the red cherry.
As a result, Lankan players delayed the resumption of play for almost two hours.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) later confirmed that Sri Lankan players were charged for changing the condition of the ball. Moreover, the on-field umpires had changed the ball and awarded West Indies five penalty runs.
“The ICC can confirm the match officials in the second test between West Indies and Sri Lanka changed the ball and awarded 5 penalty runs to West Indies. If there are any, Code of Conduct charges will follow as per usual at close of play,” the ICC said in a statement on their official Twitter page.
However, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said that the players have not engaged in any unlawful activity.
“SLC advised the team to take the field to ensure the continuity of the match and wish to commend the decision taken by the team to continue with the game ‘under protest’ to ensure the upholding of the spirit of the game,” the organization said in a statement on ESPNCricinfo.
“The team management has informed us that Sri Lankan players have not engaged in any wrongdoing. SLC shall take all necessary steps to defend any player, in the event any unwarranted allegation is brought against a member of the team,” the statement further read.
Sri Lanka finished the third day on 34/1 in their second innings, still trailing Windies by 13 runs. In the first innings, the Lankans were bundled out for 253 while West Indies had scored 300 in their first dig.