Sri Lanka will be without the services of their skipper Dinesh Chandimal, coach Chandika Hathurusingha and manager Asanka Gurusinha for the Test series against South Africa.

The trio will not feature in the series after the ICC concluded its hearing on them for acting against the spirit of the game. They had pleaded guilty to the level three offence laid against them by the ICC after they held up play for two hours on the third day of the second Test against Windies in St. Lucia.

Credits: AFP

The ICC, on Wednesday, tweeted that the judicial commissioner would announce his decision in “due course”. In the interim, Chandimal, Hathurusingha and Gurusinha will serve a two-match suspension at least. The hearing, which began at roughly 6pm Sri Lanka time on Wednesday, lasted for more than five hours.

“Hearing concludes. Judicial Commissioner to announce the decision in due course. In the interim, Chandimal, Hathurusinghe and Gurusinha, who have pleaded guilty, have agreed not to participate in both Tests versus SA. This will be credited against the sanction imposed by the commissioner,” the ICC tweeted.

On-field umpires Aleem Dar and Ian Gould had pulled up Chandimal for changing the condition of the ball during the St. Lucia Test. He had put something in his mouth before using the saliva to shine the ball. The visitors had taken the field after causing a long delay but went off it once again. The Sri Lankan team-management was then seen having an animated argument with match referee Javagal Srinath. All the incidents had caused a two-hour delay before the game resumed. The Sri Lankans were unhappy after the umpires awarded 5 runs to the hosts as penalty.

Credits: AFP

Chandimal was then found guilty of changing the condition of the ball. He was then banned for the Barbados Test. The skipper also had to give100% of his match fee as fine. ICC’s Chief Executive David Richardson then charged Chandimal, Hathurusingha and Gurusinha for a breach of Article 2.3.1, a Level 3 offence.

“We were aware of the rules. When they sent us the charge sheet, all three of us accepted it. We were too emotional when we were informed that the captain was charged for ball tampering. We made a mistake and regret it,” Gurusinha had said after the incident.

 Sri Lanka, meanwhile, will have their task cut out in absence of Chandimal. They will not only miss his presence in the middle-order but also his experience.  Suranga Lakmal is likely to lead the team in the series. The pacer had also led the team in Barbados.

Credits: CWI