COLOMBO – Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal has appealed his one-match ban for ball tampering during a Test against the West Indies, the International Cricket Council said Thursday.
Chandimal, 28, was found guilty of changing the condition of the ball during the second day's play of the second Test, which concluded in a draw at Gros Islet on Monday.
He was slapped with two suspension points and fined 100 per cent of his match fee. The points equate to a ban from one Test or two ODIs or two T20s.
Following the ruling, Chandimal was set to miss his side's third Test in Barbados starting Saturday.
But the skipper “had appealed against the match referee's findings,” the ICC announced on an official Twitter account.
A judicial commissioner will be appointed to hear Chandimal's appeal though a date has not been set.
Sri Lanka's cricket board has not commented on the ruling.
But official sources say its expected Chandimal will be allowed to play in the third Test pending a hearing.
Match referee Javagal Srinath had said Chandimal applied an artificial substance to the ball in violation of the ICC Code of Conduct.
The player was suspected of using saliva and a sweet that he had in his mouth to tamper with the ball and give it more spin. 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.
At the time of the incident, Chandimal denied charges filed by on-field umpires Aleem Dar and Ian Gould, and third umpire Richard Kettleborough.
Sri Lanka's coach Chandika Hathurusingha and manager Asanka Gurusinghe face separate charges of “acting contrary to the spirit of the game” during the ball tampering drama.
There were concerns that the Test match was in jeopardy when Chandimal refused to lead his team onto the field after he was informed of the charge and the application of a five-run penalty.
Sri Lankan cricket has lurched from one controversy to the next, with allegations of match fixing and corruption compounding the national team's worst streak on record.
The island's state-run Daily News on Thursday demanded the ICC hand Chandimal and the two officials at the centre of the latest scandal the maximum possible penalty.
“If the ICC goes soft on these individuals they are going to lose control of the whole circuit,” the newspaper declared.
“They have to make an example of them because if they don’t, every Tom, Dick and Harry is going to do it and get away with it.”
Agence France-Presse (AFP)