Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal will miss the day-night Test against West Indies in Barbados tomorrow. After a four-hour hearing today, Michael Beloff QC, the ICC-appointed judicial commissioner, dismissed his appeal against his one-match suspension for ball-tampering.
Beloff will provide a written reasoned decision on Wednesday.
The original decision of match referee Javagal Srinath, to award Chandimal two suspension points and fine him 100 per cent of his match fee, will also stand.
Meanwhile, Chandimal, coach Chandika Hathurusingha, and manager Asanka Gurusinha admitted to breaching the ICC Code that relates to “conduct that is contrary to the spirit of the game” and could be suspended for two to four Tests, or between four and eight limited-overs internationals.
They were charged with a level 3 offence by ICC chief executive David Richardson after Sri Lanka refused to take the field on the third morning of the second Test against West Indies in St Lucia and delayed the start of play by two hours. Sri Lanka did this after the on-field umpires had informed them ten minutes before the start of play that they were changing the ball because they suspected its condition had been illegally altered.
“This action was alleged to amount to a serious breach of the Laws of Cricket and to be contrary to the spirit of the game,” the ICC said.
Beloff QC was also to hear the case against Chandimal, Hathurusingha and Gurusinha to determine the appropriate sanction.
Among the points the Sri Lanka camp is likely to make to Beloff is that the entire two-hour delay was not exclusively down to their reluctance to play. It is possible Sri Lanka’s team management believed that roughly midway through the scheduled morning session, they felt they had come to an agreement with the match officials, wherein although Chandimal would still have to face a ball-tampering charge at the end of the Test, the officials would refrain from imposing the five-run penalty and changing the ball.
In fact, on the basis that there would be no immediate penalties, the Sri Lanka side did take the field at 10:50 am, an hour and 20 minutes past the scheduled start. However, to Sri Lanka’s surprise, the umpires changed the ball at this stage. It was at this point that the Sri Lanka team dug in its heels again. They left the field, returning only forty minutes later, to actually start play.
When play did eventually begin on day three, Sri Lanka Cricket issued a release denying wrongdoing and said they were playing “under protest”.