Sri Lanka defends cricket team over ball tampering allegation

Opener Devon Smith pulls during his unbeaten half-century in today’s rain-hit second day of the second Test in St Lucia

Opener Devon Smith pulls during his unbeaten half-century in today’s rain-hit second day of the second Test in St Lucia

Sri Lanka skipper Dinesh Chandimal has pleaded not guilty after being charged by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for altering the condition of the ball in the second Test against West Indies, on Sunday.During lunch on the fourth day of the match, ICC announced: "Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal has pleaded not guilty to attempting to change the condition of the ball during the St.Lucia Test. Hearing to follow after completion of the match".

The global governing body tweeted the news, detailing that the captain was in breach of Level 2.2.9 of the ICC Code of Conduct for 'changing the condition of the ball - the same charge leveled at Australia batter Cameron Bancroft during the infamous Cape Town Test in March.

But the players eventually came onto the field at 10.50am, West Indies were officially given five extra runs and umpires Ian Gould and Aleem Dar oversaw the changing of the ball.

In protest, Sri Lanka then took to the field two hours late on day three.

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Animated discussions ensued involving match referee Javagal Srinath and the Sri Lankan pair of coach Chandika Hathurusingha and team manager Asanka Gurusinha.

Sri Lanka's cricketers were continuing their second test against West Indies "under protest" after they were accused by match officials of altering the condition of the ball. The situation regarding the change of ball and the implied ball tampering is nowhere close to being resolved even as it is bright and sunny at Gros Islet.

They penalised Sri Lanka before play on Saturday with a change of ball and the award of five runs to the West Indies.

The hearing will be attended by the match officials as well as members of the Sri Lanka team management.

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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".

Opening batsman Cameron Bancroft, the player caught on camera applying sandpaper to the ball, was banned for nine months. "The Sri Lankans would have taken offence at that and would have made their case".

Roston Chase chimed in with 41, but the Windies declined badly after reaching 241 for four, losing their last six wickets for just 59 runs.

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