Jamaica Gleaner / GROS ISLET, St Lucia (CMC):

Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal will face charges of changing the condition of the ball at the end of the ongoing Test against the Windies but plans to contest the allegations after pleading not guilty.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced yesterday that Chandimal had been charged at the close of the third day on Saturday under Article 2.2.9 of the ICC Code of Conduct, relating to “changing the condition of the ball in breach of clause 41.3 of the ICC Standard Test Match, ODI and T20I Playing Conditions” by “unfair” means.

“The officials laid the charge after television footage from the final session’s play on Friday appeared to show the Sri Lanka captain taking sweets out from his left 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 statement 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.

If Chandimal is found guilty, he faces a fine of between 50 per cent to his entire match fee, two suspension points, or three to four demerit points.

The controversy unfolded early on the third day when umpires informed Sri Lanka that the ball would be changed and the Windies would be awarded five penalty points due to the altered condition of the ball.

Sri Lanka took issue with the assertion and refused to take the field, leading to play eventually starting at 11:30 am, half-hour before scheduled lunch interval.

A statement from Sri Lanka Cricket late Saturday said it would “take all necessary steps to defend any player in the event any unwarranted allegation is brought against a member of the team”.

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