Sri Lanka appoint Lakmal as Test captain
Paceman to lead visitors in third Test against the Windies after Chandimal's one-match ban was upheld
23 June 2018, 04:56 PM AEST
Sri Lanka have made the uncommon move of appointing a fast bowler as captain, with paceman Suranga Lakmal to take the reins in Dinesh Chandimal's absence for the third Test against West Indies.
Chandimal was suspended for the Caribbean's maiden day-night Test match, which begins Saturday, after losing an appeal over ball-tampering charges.
That has forced Sri Lanka Cricket to find a new skipper for the landmark match, with 31-year-old quick Lakmal to become his nation's 16th Test captain.
West Indies are 1-0 in the series having won the opening Test in Trinidad before the ensuing draw in St Lucia.
The International Cricket Council upheld their guilty verdict after Chandimal was deemed to have "changed the condition of the ball" during the second Test.
Match referee Javagal Srinath had said the 28-year-old applied an artificial substance to the ball in violation of the ICC Code of Conduct.
Chandimal was handed two suspension points and fined 100 per cent of his match fee for the offence. The points equate to a ban from one Test or two ODIs or two T20s.
He was suspected of using saliva and a sweet that he had in his mouth to tamper with the ball. His action was picked up on television images.
Srinath also said that Chandimal had been less than convincing in his defence.
"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," he said.
The third Test will be the first time Lakmal has captained Sri Lanka in any format.
The islanders have churned through skippers in recent times, having had seven different players take the reins over the past 24 months across all three formats.
A second ICC hearing meanwhile will take place on July 10 after Sri Lanka coach Chandika Hathurusinghe and manager Asanka Gurusinha, along with Chandimal, admitted to "conduct that is contrary to the spirit of the game".
The three were charged by ICC chief executive David Richardson on Tuesday for their involvement in the Sri Lanka team's refusal to take to the field in St Lucia at the start of Saturday's play, which caused a two-hour delay in the start of play.
"Until the hearing takes place … Hathurusinghe and Gurusinha can continue to perform their professional responsibilities, including in the Barbados Test," the ICC said in a statement.