Sri Lanka defends cricket team over ball tampering allegation

Opener Devon Smith pulls during his unbeaten half-century in today’s rain-hit second day of the second Test in St Lucia

The ICC's ruling comes following a standoff between Chandimal's Sri Lankan side and the officials on day three of the Test.

If there are any, code of conduct charges will follow as per usual at close of play'.

Sri Lanka Cricket released a statement saying its players "have not engaged in any wrongdoing" and that the team had taken to the field "under protest". After animated discussions the Sri Lankans agreed to the change of ball and to continue playing although it is understood that they will be contesting the ball-tampering charge.

But the players eventually came onto the field at 10.50am, West Indies were officially given five extra runs and umpires Ian Gould and Aleem Dar oversaw the changing of the ball.

Action finally got under way half-hour before the scheduled lunch interval after Sri Lanka Cricket authorities instructed the team to take the field but "under protest".

Play started two hours later in St Lucia, following lengthy discussions between match referee Javagal Srinath and Sri Lanka's coaching staff.

Angry Sri Lankan players refused to take the field on the third day of the match in St Lucia on Saturday, delaying the resumption of play for nearly two hours, after the ICC said umpires Aleem Dar and Ian Gould had changed the ball and awarded West Indies five penalty runs. So maybe Gould was just being over-cautious.




According to the report the umpires had suspected a case of ball tampering which was the reason for changing the ball without accusing the Sri Lankans of any wrong doing.

In March this year, Australia were caught tampering with the ball in the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town.

Bancroft was subsequently whacked with a nine-month ban from worldwide and first-class cricket by Cricket Australia.

That match was the only Test in the game's history to be forfeited after Pakistan refused to return to the field.

At stumps on day two the West Indies were 118 for 2 in reply to Sri Lanka's first-innings score of 253 all out. But fast bowler Lahiru Kumara took the most wickets, four.

Opening batsman Devon Smith top scored with a painstaking 61 while Shane Dowrich, fresh from a match-winning unbeaten century in the first Test in Trinidad, contributed 55.

In its second innings, Sri Lanka lost Kusal Perera to a thick edge behind off Shannon Gabriel two overs before stumps.

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