Sri Lanka protested a ball-tampering charge by delaying the start of day three of their Test against the West Indies for two hours.
The Sri Lankan players issued a strong denial that they had been involved in any attempts to alter the condition of the ball after being charged with ball-tampering. The charge resulted in a five-run penalty being imposed on them, along with a change of ball for the remainder of the West Indies first innings.
The umpires laid the charge after they had reviewed footage of the second day’s play that was brought to their attention by the TV umpire in another strike for fair play. The footage suggested that the Sri Lankan fielders had potentially applied a substance to the face of the ball.
ESPNcricinfo’s sources report, ‘Officials privy to the case say the incident was similar to the one involving South Africa captain Faf du Plessis, who was found guilty of altering the condition of the ball during the 2016-17 Test series in Australia.’
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) confirmed that the players are continuing the game ‘under protest’. They issued the following statement: ‘SLC advised the team to take to the field to ensure the continuity of the match and wish to commend the decision taken by the team to continue with the game “under protest” to ensure the upholding of the spirit of the game.
‘The team management has informed us that Sri Lankan players have not engaged in any wrongdoing. SLC shall take all necessary steps to defend any player, in the event any unwarranted allegation is brought against a member of the team.’
The ICC tweeted confirmation of the charge: ‘The ICC can confirm the match officials in the second Test between West Indies and Sri Lanka changed the ball and awarded five penalty runs to West Indies. If there are any, code of conduct charges will follow as per usual at close of play.’
Sri Lanka are 13 runs behind the West Indies with nine second-innings wickets in hand and two days to play. The West Indies won the first Test by 226 runs.
The ICC can confirm the match officials in the second Test between West Indies and Sri Lanka changed the ball and awarded 5 penalty runs to West Indies. If there are any, Code of Conduct charges will follow as per usual at close of play.#WIvSL pic.twitter.com/xeiaAKQ9DU
— ICC (@ICC) June 16, 2018
Photo: RANDY BROOKS/AFP/Getty Images