Sri Lanka cricket captain pleads not guilty to ball tampering

Sri Lanka cricket captain pleads not guilty to ball tampering

Sri Lanka cricket captain pleads not guilty to ball tampering

The ICC has formally charged Sri Lanka skipper Dinesh Chandimal with ball tampering after controversy marred day three of the second Test against the West Indies in St Lucia.

The ICC said officials charged Chandimal after "television footage from the final session's play on Friday (local time) appeared to show the Sri Lanka captain taking candies out from his left pocket and putting these in his mouth, before applying the artificial substance to the ball which the umpires viewed as an attempt to change its condition".

It was on Saturday that Chandimal refused to take the field along with his teammates after the on-field umpires Ian Gould and Aleem Dar charged them to alter the conditions of the ball.

Broadcaster visuals of the Sri Lanka dressing room showed coach Chandika Hathurusingha, captain Dinesh Chandimal and team manager Asanka Gurusinha in discussion with match referee Javagal Srinath, the reports said.

Action finally got under way half-hour before the scheduled lunch interval after Sri Lanka Cricket authorities instructed the team to take the field but "under protest".

Sri Lanka overcame a top order collapse as they rebounded from the ball-tampering row in the second Test against the West Indies to set up a thrilling final day at Gros Islet.

In a statement, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) solidly backed their players.

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Kane added "For us the key thing is to stay focused on ourselves, not to worry about the teams in the past and things like that". And they have chosen a song by Glasgow-born Lonnie Donegan for the dubious honour, with the track known as World Cup Willie.

The Sri Lankan Biard ensured that they "will take all necessary steps to defend any player, in the event any unwarranted allegation is brought against any members of the team".

"If there are any, Code of Conduct charges will follow as per usual at close of play", tweeted the ICC.

Former Sri Lanka player Kumar Sangakkara told Sky Sports in the United Kingdom: "I think that they feel hard done-by". So maybe Gould was just being over-cautious.

According to ESPNCricinfo, the umpires laid the charge after reviewing footage of the second day's play, and finding evidence pointing to the application of a substance to the ball.

Bancroft was subsequently whacked with a nine-month ban from global and first-class cricket by Cricket Australia.

Despite being at the centre of the storm, the Sri Lankan skipper put aside that vast distraction in supporting the in-form Kusal Mendis in a fifth-wicket stand of 117 that helped lift the visitors from the depths of 48 for four to 334 for eight in their second innings and a lead of 287 by the close of play on Sunday. Pakistan eventually forfeited that game.

Opening batsman Devon Smith top scored with a painstaking 61 while Shane Dowrich, fresh from a match-winning unbeaten century in the first Test in Trinidad, contributed 55. But fast bowler Lahiru Kumara took the most wickets, four.

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