Sri Lanka ready to bite the bullet for Caribbean excesses


Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal was charged for ball tampering and was suspended from the final Test against West Indies in Barbados. He faces further sanctions ahead of the Test series against South Africa and Suranga Lakmal will lead the side.

by Rex Clementine

The national cricket team has come to terms with accepting the inevitable as captain Dinesh Chandimal, Head Coach Chandika Hathurusingha and Manager Asanka Gurusinha all face axe from the upcoming series against South Africa. The Proteas captained by Francois Du Plessis, no stranger for ball tampering, arrive in the island later this week and will play a two day warm-up game starting on Saturday at P. Sara Oval. The first Test takes place in Galle next week.

Chandimal already missed the final Test against West Indies in Barbados after his appeal against suspension for ball tampering was turned down by ICC Judicial Commissioner Michael Beloff.

Additionally, Chandimal along with Hathurusingha and Gurusinha pleaded guilty for a breach of Level Three offense that deals with bringing the game into disrepute. Beloff on the 10th of July, two days prior to the first Test against South Africa, will determine the sanction for the trio. A Level Three offense carries a minimum penalty of a ban of two Test matches.

The suspension is irrelevant to Gurusinha as he is expected to cease as Manager of the national team and accept a new role as the High Performance Manager.

Fast bowler Suranga Lakmal, who captained the side in the final Test in Barbados in the absence of Chandimal, is expected to lead the side in the two Test matches against South Africa.

"We could have fought a better battle had we gone onto the middle even with Dinesh Chandimal’s ball tampering charge," a source from the Sri Lankan team told The Island.

On the third day of the second Test in St. Lucia after being informed of the ball tampering charge and the ball being changed along with five penalty runs given to West Indies, the Sri Lankan team contested the decision asking for proof and subsequently two hours play was held up.

Sports Minister Faizer Mustapaha, SLC’s former chief Thilanga Sumathipala, one other former President, a few former players and a former captain familiar with ICC routine had urged the team management to get back onto the field without holding up play. Sri Lanka delayed proceedings maintaining captain’s innocence and eventually are getting ready to pay a heavy price.

By suspending the Sri Lankan captain and further sanctioning the team’s think tank, the ICC has sent a strong message to rest of the international cricket teams that bringing the game into disrepute will not be tolerated.

The Island also learns that the ICC will be urging television broadcasters to place two cameras on the ball all the time during international cricket matches with immediate effect. Already one camera focuses on the ball all the time.

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