Chandimal pleads not guilty to 'sweet in pocket' ball tampering: ICC

Sri Lanka have strongly denied altering the ball in the second cricket test against the West Indies in St Lucia, on a day which started nearly 90 minutes late due to their protests.

Gros Islet: Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal was charged by the ICC on Sunday over ball-tampering in the second Test against the West Indies in St Lucia.

Umpire Aleem Dar inspecting the ball Sri Lanka were deemed to have tampered.

Broadcast visuals of the Sri Lanka dressing room showed coach Chandika Hathurusingha, captain Dinesh Chandimal and team manager Asanka Gurusinha in animated discussion with match referee Javagal Srinath.

However, after deliberations Sri Lankans agreed to the change of ball and to continue playing.

In a pre-emptive move on Saturday evening, Sri Lanka Cricket issued a media release saying it would defend any "unwarranted allegation" against any player.

It is the second time in two years Sri Lanka have been in controversy over the condition of a ball, after Dasun Shanaka was charged for a similar offence by the ICC in November 2017.

"SLC advised the team to take the field to ensure the continuity of the match and wish to commend the decision taken by the team "under protest" to ensure the upholding of the spirit of the game", added the statement.

The hearing will be attended by the match officials as well as members of the Sri Lanka team management.

"The team management has informed us that Sri Lankan players have not engaged in any wrongdoing", said SLC.

According to a tweet from the ICC, the charge comes following a breach from Chandimal of Article 2.2.9 of the ICC's code of conduct which states that the condition of the ball had been altered by "unfair" means.

Earlier, Australia's Cameron Bancroft, Sri Lanka's Dasun Shanaka (2017) and South Africa's Faf du Plessis (2016) were also held for the same charge.

On the field, Sri Lanka clawed their way back into the match to restrict West Indies' lead to 47 after the hosts resumed on 123 for two replying to 253.

The Sri Lankans contained the home side with excellent bowling, trapping Smith and tricking Dowrich.

Steve Smith and David Warner were stripped of the captaincy and vice-captaincy respectively and banned from playing global cricket for 12 months.

West Indies won the first test by 226 runs.

Roston Chase chimed in with 41, but the Windies declined badly after reaching 241 for four, losing their last six wickets for just 59 runs.

Vanessa Coleman

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