Sri Lanka delay play in West Indies Test amid ball-tampering row


Sri Lanka skipper Dinesh Chandimal has been charged by the ICC after a ball-tampering row overshadowed the third day of his team's second Test against the West Indies.

It is the second time in two years Sri Lanka have been in controversy over the condition of a ball, after Dasun Shanaka was charged for a similar offence by the ICC in November 2017.

The tourists refused to take to the field in St Lucia for two hours on Saturday, following a decision by umpires Aleem Dar and Ian Gould to charge Sri Lanka with altering the state of the ball during the latter stages of Friday's play.

Sri Lanka's players then took to the field at 10.50am local time, 50 minutes after the scheduled start, but did not start play for another 40 minutes as the dispute continued with captain Dinesh Chandimal arguing with the umpires. Match referee Javagal Srinath and the Sri Lankan support staff were seen having an animated discussion before the start of the third day's play.

Officials penalised the Sri Lankans five extra runs for the holdout, but the Sri Lankan camp maintained that despite eventually taking the field, the team was still playing under protest.

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Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) later released a statement denying any wrongdoing by its players.

The Sri Lanka Cricket board said that the team management had informed them that Sri Lankan players have not engaged in any wrong doing during the ongoing second Test match played between Sri Lanka and the West Indies. The International Cricket Council (ICC) has now made a decision to charge Chandimal for breaching Level 2.2.9 of the ICC Code of Conduct. But the home side was all out in quick succession after tea for 300, a lead of 47 on the first innings.

Shannon Gabriel claimed an early wicket in the Sri Lanka second innings when Kusal Perera fell to a catch by Dowrich in the penultimate over of the day before the tourists ended the day on 34-1. The two batsmen at the crease - Devon Smith and Shai Hope - were given the right to choose the replacement, which is the protocol under ICC Law 41.3 ("The match ball - changing its condition").

Cricket's governing body, the ICC, tweeted that any disciplinary issues would be addressed at the end of play.

That match was the only Test in the game's history to be forfeited after Pakistan refused to return to the field.