The Sri Lankan ball-tampering controversy reached a new level on Monday when the ICC slapped a two-Test and four-ODI ban on captain Dinesh Chandimal, coach Chandika Hathurusingha and team manager Asanka Gurusinha.
Not long after the infamous Sandpapergate scandal that sent shockwaves around the cricketing world, Sri Lanka got involved in a similar crisis, with captain Dinesh Chandimal accused of tampering the ball during the recent Test series against West Indies in the Caribbean. Chandimal came under the scanner during the second West Indies-Sri Lanka Test at St Lucia between 14 and 19 June.
Umpires Ian Gould and Aleem Dar as well as match referee Javagal Srinath pulling up the Sri Lankan captain after observing his on-field behavior. While a plenty of controversies ensured thereafter, with the visitors delaying the start of play on the third day by a few hours.
The controversy reached a new level on Monday when the ICC slapped a two-Test and four-ODI ban on Chandimal, coach Chandika Hathurusingha, and team manager Asanka Gurusinha, although the punishment was meant for the Sri Lankan team’s behavior in the aftermath of the ball-tampering accusation more than the commitment of the offense itself.
Here’s a timeline of events in the Sri Lankan ball-tampering saga:
Day 2, 15 June
Sri Lanka skipper Chandimal is seen putting a sweet into his mouth, after which he uses his saliva to shine the ball. The TV crew present at the Darren Sammy Stadium at Gros Islet capture Chandimal in the act.
Day 3, 16 June
The on-field umpires Gould and Dar discuss the matter with Chandimal after reviewing footage from the previous day’s play. The Sri Lankan team reluctantly step out to the field, only for them to head back to the dressing room shortly after. Eventually, match referee Srinath gets involved in the matter and was seen discussing the issue with the umpires and the visitors. Play eventually resumes after a two-hour delay.
When play eventually resumes, Sri Lanka do well to limit the West Indies first innings lead to 47 runs as the hosts, who started the day at 118 for two, lost their last six wickets for 59 runs to be dismissed in the final session for 300.
Srinath hands Chandimal two suspension points — which equates to a one-Test ban — and docks 100 percent of the captain’s match fees from the second Test. The punishment is handed out for violating code 2.2.9 of the ICC Code of Conduct.
Skipper Chandimal appeals against the one-match ban ahead of the third and final Test against West Indies at Barbados, which took place between 23 and 26 June.
Chandimal’s appeal is rejected by the Judicial Commissioner, as a result of which the skipper misses out on the third Test. Suranga Lakmal leads in his stead and guides the Lankans to a four-wicket win over the hosts to draw the three-match series at 1-1.
Chandimal, Hathurusingha, and Gurusinha agree to sit out of the two-Test series against South Africa at home a day before the opening game at Galle, with an ICC judicial commision hearing taking place on the same day.
ICC bans Chandimal, Hathurusingha, and Gurusinha for two Tests and four one-day internationals for breaching the spirit of the game. The trio is also given six penalty points each.