June 18, 2018 / 4:49 AM / 3 months ago

Cricket - Ball-tampering hearing scheduled after Chandimal denies charge

(Reuters) - Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal has pleaded not guilty to ball-tampering charges, prompting a hearing into the episode after the conclusion of the ongoing second test against West Indies, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has said.

Cricket - Sri Lanka v India - Third Test Match - Pallekele, Sri Lanka - August 14, 2017 - Sri Lanka's captain Dinesh Chandimal reacts after they losing the final test match and the test series against India. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte

The angry Sri Lankans initially refused to take the field on Saturday and later agreed to play “under protest” after umpires Aleem Dar and Ian Gould changed the ball and awarded West Indies five penalty runs in the contest in St Lucia.

Chandimal, 28, was charged on Sunday with a breach of the article 2.2.9 of the ICC Code of Conduct which deals with unfair altering of the condition of the ball.

“Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal has pleaded not guilty... and, as such, Javagal Srinath of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees will hold a hearing following the conclusion of the St Lucia test...” the ICC said in a statement.

The same charge was levelled against Australia batsman Cameron Bancroft, who was caught on camera rubbing a piece of sandpaper on the ball against South Africa in March.

“The officials laid the charge after footage from the final session’s play on Friday appeared to show the Sri Lanka captain taking sweets from his pocket and putting these in his mouth, before applying the artificial substance to the ball which the umpires viewed as an attempt to change its condition,” the ICC said.

“Video evidence will be used in the hearing, which will also be attended by the match officials as well as members of the Sri Lanka team management.”

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said the team had denied any wrongdoing and that it would take every step to defend its players “in the event any unwarranted allegation”.

Sri Lanka were 334 for eight in their second innings at the end of the fourth day, leading by 287 runs after the hosts were dismissed for 300.

West Indies won the first test of the three-match series by 226 runs.

Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by John O'Brien

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