Sri Lanka cricket has decided to take the legal route to contest the ICC verdict on Dinesh Chandimal’s ball tampering issue. Following the drawn second Test match between Sri Lanka and West Indies in St. Lucia, ICC Match Referee Javagal Srinath found Sri Lanka skipper Dinesh Chandimal guilty of tampering with the ball.
ICC announced that CEO Dave Richardson had banned Chandimal for one Test and fined him 100% of his match fees. ICC also charged Head Coach Chandika Hathurusingha and Team Manager Asanka Gurusinha of a more serious Level three offense, along with Chandimal for a conduct opposite to the spirit of the game.
The Sri Lanka team was also charged with holding up the game for two hours on 3rd day morning, as umpires changed the ball and awarded West Indies five runs as a penalty.
SLC officials discussed the issue with team management, who are in Barbados and on Wednesday night decided to contest the charge. ICC will have to appoint a Judicial Commissioner to hear the case and the trio of Chandimal, Hathurusingha, and Gurusinha will not be suspended from the third and final day-night Test in Barbados.
A level three offense carries a penalty of a ban of two to four Test matches. This means if the Sri Lankan trio is found guilty, they will miss most of the home series against South Africa.
Sri Lanka is contesting the charge on the basis of a discrepancy of application of the rule and not following the right procedure. Sri Lanka believes that Chandimal should have been charged on day two, instead of day three of the Test for his offense. They also claim that umpires had no problem with the ball on stumps at day two.
Sri Lanka claims that they were informed about the charge ten minutes before play on day three.
Javagal Srinath, the match referee has also been accused of inconsistency. Lankans claim that Srinath assured them that there would be no five runs penalty imposed on them and no change of ball when they were hesitant to take the field. But the umpires did the opposite of Srinath said.
They also accused umpire Ian Gould of being influenced by the Australia-South Africa ball tampering fiasco. They also wanted to know which teams were imposed the five runs penalty in recent times after they were accused of ball tampering.
(with inputs from Cricbuzz.com)