Fast bowler Suranga Lakmal has been one of the top performers for Sri Lanka in recent years. Photo: A.M. Ahad/AP

COLOMBO – Sri Lanka on Saturday named Suranga Lakmal as skipper for the potentially series-saving third Test against the West Indies after Dinesh Chandimal lost his appeal against a one-match ban for ball-tampering.

“Lakmal was appointed as the captain, in the absence of Dinesh Chandimal,” Sri Lanka Cricket said in a brief statement, without commenting on Chandimal’s case.

The West Indies are 1-0 up in the series with the final match, the first ever day-night Test in the Caribbean, due to begin later on Saturday in Barbados.

Chandimal, 28, was given the ban after being spotted by television cameras during the second Test applying saliva to the ball, apparently with a sweet in his mouth.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Friday dismissed Chandimal’s appeal. A fine of 100 percent of his match fee, and two suspension points were also upheld.

Chandimal, coach Chandika Hathurusingha and manager Asanka Gurusinha also face possible disciplinary action after refusing to take to the field for two hours after the incident.

The three admitted on Friday to “conduct... contrary to the spirit of the game” and will face a preliminary ICC hearing on July 10.

Hathurusinghe and Gurusinha were on Friday, however, allowed to continue to perform their duties in the meantime, including in the third Test.

Chandimal’s ban is the latest blow to Sri Lankan cricket following a string of defeats – including a Test and one-day whitewash to India – and corruption allegations.

Earlier this year, Australian cricket was rocked to its foundations after Cameron Bancroft was caught applying sandpaper to the ball in a match in South Africa.

Steve Smith and David Warner were stripped of the captaincy and vice-captaincy respectively and banned from playing international cricket for 12 months, with Bancroft receiving nine months.