International Cricket Council(ICC) has charged the Sri Lankan team management, including their captain Dinesh Chandimal, head coach Chandika Hathurusinghe and manager Asanka Gurusinha, for breaching the article 2.3.1, a Level 3 offense under the governing body's Law for a “conduct that is contrary to the spirit of the game” during the second Test of the ongoing Test series against West Indies.
The umpires officiating for the match had earlier charged Dinesh Chandimal for altering the condition of the ball on Day 3 at St. Lucia. After which, ugly scenes happened as the Sri Lankan players refused to abide by the umpires' decision to change the ball and put out a 5-run penalty, by not coming out to the field at all. Only after various discussions between the match referee Javagal Srinath and the management, did the Sri Lankan team agreed to resume play.
Dinesh pleaded not guilty of the offense but after a video evidence against him, the ICC did the rightful and suspended him from the third Test at Barbados.
Match referee Javagal Srinath has said in his release about Chandimal's suspension that, "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,"
"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."
The self-inflicted problems for Chandimal, do not end here though. He, his coach and the manager have the right to appeal under the article 5.2 for code of conduct but if found guilty of this offense, Chandimal, the coach and the manager could all stand to miss both Tests against South Africa in July, in addition to further ODIs.
ICC CEO David Richardson recently talked about how the Cricket Committee of the game's governing body "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, So we are talking moving both ball tampering and personal abuse, foul language upto Level 3."
(Inputs from Cricketnext)