Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal has received a one-Test ban for "changing the condition of the ball" in the second match of the series with West Indies, while he could yet face further punishment from the ICC.
Chandimal pleaded not guilty to a ball tampering charge on Sunday, having been charged by ICC [International Cricket Council] match officials in relation to an incident during the final session of Friday's play in Gros Islet.
Footage emerged that appeared to show Chandimal taking something out of his left pocket and putting it in his mouth, before applying the residue of the artificial substance to the ball.
An ICC statement on Tuesday confirmed the 28-year-old had been found guilty and handed the maximum punishment of two suspension points - equating to a one-Test ban. He has also been fined 100 per cent of his match fee for the second Test.
Javagal Srinath: “After reviewing the footage of the incident, it is clear that Dinesh Chandimal 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” https://t.co/L4jQ4UiAUU— ICC Media (@ICCMediaComms) June 19, 2018
Chandimal could yet miss further matches, though, after being charged with a Level 3 offence of "conduct that is contrary to the spirit of the game", together with coach Chandika Hathurusinghe and team manager Asanka Gurusinha.
The second charge, laid by ICC chief executive David Richardson, relates to Sri Lanka's refusal to take the field at the start of Saturday's play, after the footage of the incident involving Chandimal had come to light. All level three breaches of the ICC's Code of Conduct carry an imposition of four to eight suspension points, which would result in a ban of two to four Test matches.
Discussing Chandimal's one-Test suspension, ICC match referee Javagal Srinath said: "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."
Richardson added: "The ICC fully supports the match officials in their decision and will continue to do so in any other such instances.
"The strong message from last month's ICC Cricket Committee was that there needs to be stiffer sanctions for offences such as changing the condition of the ball and, as such, we will be recommending to the ICC Board at next month's annual conference in Dublin to upgrade this to a Level Three offence."
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