Sri Lanka v South Africa Test - Men's
Sri Lanka trio hit with maximum punishment
Skipper Dinesh Chandimal, as well as two off-field staff, cop bans for two Tests and four ODIs for ball-tampering protest
16 July 2018, 09:12 PM AEST
Sri Lanka's captain, coach and team manager have all been hit with the maximum possible punishment under the ICC's existing regulations for their roles in the team's mid-match protest against ball tampering charges levelled in the Caribbean last month, and will be banned for two Tests and four ODIs.
Skipper Dinesh Chandimal, coach Chandika Hathurusingha and manager Asanka Gurusinha were all given eight suspension points by independent Judicial Commissioner, Michael Beloff QC following a marathon six-hour hearing over video link last Wednesday.
ll three had pleaded guilty to a level three offence of "conduct that is contrary to the spirit of the game" for refusing to take to the field on the third day of the second Test against West Indies after umpires informed Chandimal he had been charged with ball tampering.
Given the minimum punishment for the charge was a two-Test ban, the trio had already agreed to sit out the two-Test series against the Proteas, the first match of which Sri Lanka won by a massive 278 runs in Galle last weekend.
They will now also miss the first four ODIs of a five-match series to follow the Tests, and will miss games in Dambulla (July 29 and August 1) as well as Kandy (August 5 and 8). They will be eligible to return to the team for the fifth and final ODI in Colombo on August 12, with a one-off T20 at the same venue to follow two days later.
The minimum suspension for the contrary conduct charge was two Tests but Mr Beloff opted to hand down the maximum possible punishment of eight suspension points each.
Chandimal already missed last month's third Test against the Windies and was docked his entire match fee after being found guilty of altering the state of the ball in St Lucia.
Match referee Javagal Srinath said Chandimal applied saliva containing the residue of something he had in his mouth to the ball, in violation of the ICC Code of Conduct.
Sri Lanka Cricket has confirmed that it will not impose further punishment relating to the incident. In March, Cricket Australia handed down lengthy bans to Steve Smith, Cameron Bancroft and David Warner on top of the punishments from the ICC given to Smith and Bancroft for the ball-tampering incident in Cape Town.
The ICC recently unveiled tougher sanctions for ball tampering and sledging in a bid to improve on-field behaviour in the sport.
The issue of whether players are permitted to chew sweets while in the field has been a topic of contention in the lead-in to the first Sri Lanka-South Africa Test, beginning Thursday, with both captains seeking clarity on the issue from the ICC.
South Africa skipper Faf Du Plessis, a twice-convicted ball tamperer for incidents in 2013 and 2016, called on the ICC to lay down clearer rules on the subject.
"They still haven't said what is allowed and what isn't. Is chewing gum allowed or is it not?" Du Plessis said, adding: "You want consistency."
Chandimal said: "We will meet with umpires and the (ICC) match referee and ask what we can carry with us to the field. What sweets we can put in our mouths and when."