Sri Lanka delay play in West Indies Test amid ball-tampering row

Sri Lanka will need quick wickets early on Day 2 to put pressure on the hosts

Sri Lanka will need quick wickets early on Day 2 to put pressure on the hosts

Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal has been charged with ball-tampering by the International Cricket Council (ICC) during a series in the West Indies.

While the ICC's cricket committee has recommended increasing the punishment for ball tampering to a ban of four Tests or eight one-day internationals, that suggestion has yet to be ratified.

These actions resulted in a drama-filled morning in Gros Islet; Chandimal's men had refused to take the field and, when the match eventually resumed after a two-hour delay, SLC pointed out that the players were continuing with the game "under protest".

After discussions between officials and the players, match referee Javagal Srinath upheld Gould and Dar's decision, with the five penalty runs taking the Windies to 123 for two in response to the tourists' 253 all out.

Sri Lanka Cricket has strongly denied involvement of any of its players in ball-tampering.

"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", the ICC said in a statement.

The statement also said that Sports Minister Faiszer Musthapa, along with SLC chief executive, Ashley de Silva, and head of global cricket, Chandima Mapatuna, all assured the team management that they would "take all necessary steps to defend any player, in the event any unwarranted allegation is brought against a member of the team".

"The team management has informed us that Sri Lankan players have not engaged in any wrongdoing", the statement read.

"They say something, maybe, that meant the ball needed to be changed; maybe it was the shape".

Sri Lanka were 34/1 at stumps in their second innings, trailing by 13. Pakistan eventually forfeited that game.

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

The umpires suspected that the visitors' skipper Dinesh Chandimal changed the condition of the ball and made a decision to change it which didn't go down well with the team.

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.

Yet all was going the way of the West Indies at the start of the day with Gabriel lifting his innings haul to three and match haul to eight with the wickets of nightwatchman Kasun Rajitha and Dhananjaya de Silva in quick succession.

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