Chandimal pleads not guilty to ball-tampering charge

Dinesh Chandimal has been charged for breaching Level 2.2.9 of ICC’s Code of Conduct, for changing the ball condition. © Getty Images

Dinesh Chandimal, the Sri Lankan captain, has been charged for breaching Level 2.2.9 of the International Cricket Council’s Code of Conduct, for changing the ball condition.

The law states, “the umpires shall use their judgment to apply the principle that actions taken to maintain or enhance the condition of the ball, provided no artificial substances are used, shall be permitted. Any actions taken with the purpose of damaging the condition of the ball or accelerating the deterioration of the condition of the ball shall not be permitted.”

Sri Lanka had refused to take the field for two hours on the third day of the second Test match against Windies at the Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium in Gros Islet, St Lucia on Saturday (June 16). Their revolt came after Aleem Dar and Ian Gould, the on-field umpires, insisted on the change of ball before the start of play and awarded five penalty runs to Windies. The home team’s overnight score went from 118 for 2 to 123 for 2.

Sri Lankan officials had a long discussion with the umpires and Javagal Srinath, the match referee, and then once again began walking back to the dressing room.

Play finally resumed after Sri Lanka Cricket asked its players to get to the field to “ensure the continuity of the match”. Windies, who have won the first Test, were dismissed for 300. In their second innings, Sri Lanka were 34 for 1 at stumps, still trailing by 13 runs.

SLC have assured the team complete support “in the event of any unwarranted allegation is brought against a member of the team.” Sri Lanka have an option of challenging the decision later.

Meanwhile, Chandimal has pleaded not guilty to the charge, the ICC confirmed later in the day. Srinath will hold a hearing following the conclusion of the Test.

The ICC revealed that the officials laid the charge after television footage from the final session’s play on the second day appeared to show Chandimal taking sweets out from his left pocket and putting them in his mouth, before applying the artificial substance to the ball.

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

All level 2 breaches carry an imposition of a fine between 50 to 100 percent of the match fee and/or up to two suspension points, and three or four demerit points.