The International Cricket Council (ICC) suspended Dinesh Chandimal, Chandika Hathurusingha, and Asanka Gurusingha for two Tests and four One day Internationals, showing no leniency whatsoever for acting against the spirit of the game.
The Sri Lankan captain, coach and team manager will miss the ongoing Test series against South Africa and the first four ODIs to follow. The trio plead guilty and urged for a lighter sentence but judicial commissioner Michael Beloff imposed the highest possible sentence, of eight suspension points.
“The three were charged by the ICC Chief Executive David Richardson on 19 June and had pleaded guilty to breaching Level 3, Article 2.3.1, which relates to “conduct that is contrary to the spirit of the game”, during last month’s St Lucia Test against the West Indies,” said the ICC Media release.
“During the hearing, however, it was mutually agreed that, since the minimum sanction for a Level 3 offence was suspension from two Tests, the three will not participate in the Galle Test (played from 12-14 July) and Colombo Test (to be played from 20-24 July), and these will be credited against the sanction imposed by the Judicial Commissioner,” it added.
What really happened?
During the 2nd Test between Sri Lanka and the West Indies, match referee Javagal Srinath found Chandimal apply saliva containing the residue of chewing gum he had in his mouth to the ball. After hearing of the accusation, Chandimal and his team refused to take the field for at least 2 hours.
The Sri Lankan captain was fined 100% of his match fee and banned from the 3rd Test.
Chandimal, Hathurusingha, and Gurusinha decided to appeal against the ICC verdict and they now face a rigid outcome, the severest sanction the ICC has handed out since the demerit point system was introduced.
“My aim was not to tamper, and that’s why I appealed against the ICC. I know – and my team-mates know – that I didn’t do anything wrong. I can’t control the fact that the ICC has imposed a punishment. So I have to accept that, and play when I next get the chance,” said the Sri Lankan skipper.
It gets worse
In addition to the suspension, six demerit points were added to the disciplinary records of the trio. Chandimal is now on 10 demerit points and if he reaches 12 within the next 24 months, he will be suspended from either three Tests or 6 ODIs/T20Is or a combination thereof, whatever comes first for him.
Therefore, the Sri Lankan Test skipper has to be extra cautious whenever he takes the field.
Is chewing gum allowed or is it not?
Dinesh Chandimal and Faf Du Plessis demanded clarity from the ICC on what is allowed and what is not. They also urged the committee to lay down clearer rules.
“They still haven’t said what is allowed and what isn’t. Is chewing gum allowed or is it not? You want consistency” said the Proteas skipper in Colombo.
“We will meet with umpires and the (ICC) match referee and ask what we can carry with us to the field. What sweets we can put in our mouths and when,” added Chandimal to Faf’s statement.
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