Sri Lanka‘s captain, coach and team manager have admitted breaching the International Cricket Council’s code of conduct after the team refused to take to the field against West Indies last weekend.
The third day of the second Test in St Lucia last Saturday was held up by two hours after the tourists failed to come out, in protest at the umpires’ decision to impose a five-run penalty and replace the match ball.
That decision was reached after the officials ruled that the condition of the original ball had been altered by Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal.
He was handed a one-match ban in regard to that incident, and his appeal against the sanction will be heard on Friday.
An ICC statement released on Friday morning read: “Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal, coach Chandika Hathurusingha and manager Asanka Gurusinha have admitted to breaching Article 2.3.1, a Level 3 offence, which relates to ‘conduct that is contrary to the spirit of the game’.
“Following their admission, the ICC, in accordance with Article 5.2 of the ICC code of conduct, has appointed the Hon Michael Beloff QC as the judicial commissioner to hear the case to determine the appropriate sanction.
“Mr Beloff has also been appointed as the judicial commissioner to hear Mr Chandimal’s appeal against the match referee’s decision for changing the condition of the ball.
“The three were charged by the ICC chief executive David Richardson on Tuesday for their involvement in the Sri Lanka cricket team’s refusal to take to the field in St Lucia at the start of Saturday’s play, which caused a two-hour delay in the start of play.
“This action was alleged to amount to a serious breach of the Laws of Cricket and to be contrary to the spirit of the game. All Level 3 breaches carry an imposition of between four and eight suspension points.”
Sri Lanka eventually took to the field at 1050 local time – 50 minutes after the scheduled start – but there was then a further delay of 40 minutes as Chandimal began arguing with the umpires before a delivery was bowled.
The tourists gathered on the boundary, but after further negotiations with match referee Javagal Srinath and their coaching staff, Lahiru Kumara finally resumed his 14th over at 1130 with a replacement ball selected by the West Indies batsmen.
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) released a statement on Saturday saying its players “have not engaged in any wrongdoing” and that the team had taken to the field “under protest”.
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Legends Sachin Tendulkar and Waqar Younis have voiced their disapproval at the use of two new balls in one-day international (ODI) cricket following a series of big totals.
Tendulkar, who retired as the highest run-scorer in the history of the format, tweeted that having two fresh pieces of leather in each innings “is a perfect recipe for disaster as each ball is not given the time to get old enough to reverse (swing)”.
Supporting his call the former Pakistan bowler, a master of reverse swing himself in his playing days, tweeted that he “totally agreed” with Tendulkar.
“Reason why we don’t produce many attacking fast bowlers..They all very defensive in their approach,” he said.
He added: “reverse swing is almost vanished..#SAD”.
The duo have come out with their opinion days after Eoin Morgan’s England side set a new ODI record, scoring 481-6 against Australia at Nottingham.
On Thursday, the trend continued as England chased down Australia’s 310 with ease.
Having 2 new balls in one day cricket is a perfect recipe for disaster as each ball is not given the time to get old enough to reverse. We haven’t seen reverse swing, an integral part of the death overs, for a long time. #ENGvsAUS
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) June 21, 2018
The comprehensive win over the defending world champions means that Eoin Morgan‘s men have now taken a 4-0 lead in the five-match series. The visitors mustered 310-8 with the bat in their 50 overs after electing to bat first before the hosts chased down the total with a staggering 33 balls to spare.
We look at the key takeaways from the ODI after yet another impressive display of attacking batting by England.
AARON FINCH FINALLY COMES TO THE PARTY
Aaron Finch has had his fair share of struggles in the ODI series after managing to score only 39 runs in three innings coming into Wednesday’s match. The natural opener has bafflingly been batting in the No5 position so far in the series but once he was reinstated to opener, Finch delivered like we all know he can.
The right-hander was extremely circumspect to start with before he put together a 101-run stand for the first wicket with Travis Head. He took control of the innings post Head’s dismissal and showed why he loves batting against England with his sixth ODI century against the same opposition. Finch’s 11th ODI ton overall was a much-needed boost for the Aussies after their previous defeats and it set up the platform for a massive total for the visitors.
It begs the question why the 31-year-old had been made to bat so low until Wednesday?
SHAUN MARSH SLAMS SECOND TON OF SERIES
While Finch had given the Australia the start they desperately needed, it was Shaun Marsh who anchored the innings in brilliant fashion before his dismissal.
The left-hander looked in great touch from the very first ball having registered a classy 131 in the second ODI at Cardiff. Banking on his strong off-side play, the veteran batsman quickly raced away to 95 with the help of four sixes and as many boundaries. He notched up his second ODI century of the series and his fourth overall with a massive six.
Marsh brought up his ton off just 91 balls as he took Australia near to the 300-run mark. Unfortunately for him, he was dismissed by David Willey the very next ball he faced but his innings had made sure that Australia posted a challenging total.
MARK WOOD AND DAVID WILLEY TRIGGER LATE AUSSIE COLLAPSE
While Australia did manage to reach 310-8 in the end, they would have felt that they were easily 30 runs short at least after the platform laid by Finch and Marsh’s tons. With the visitors batting at 225-1 in the 40th over, a 350-run total looked to be on the cards before England’s bowlers fought back valiantly in the death overs.
It was Mark Wood who got the hosts back in the game by claiming the wickets of Finch and Marcus Stoinis in the 40th over. Then, Willey showed his death-bowling credentials with a sensational 48th over which resulted in three Aussie wickets.
The left-arm pacer removed Alex Carey and centurion Marsh with consecutive deliveries before dismissing Michael Neser with the last ball of the over. He then returned in the final over of the innings to send back Australia skipper Tim Paine to finish with figures of 4-43 from his seven overs.
That Australia were able to post only 95 runs at the loss of seven wickets in the final 11 overs after being in such a dominant position proved to be their undoing in the end.
ROY AND BAIRSTOW MAKE MOCKERY OF AUSTRALIA’S TOTAL
Such has been the imposing form of England’s batsmen in recent times that even a target of 311 runs felt highly sub-par. Australia were going to have to remove the hosts’ in-form openers Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow early if they were to have even a slight sniff of a victory.
However, it was not to be as the England openers came out and started striking the ball as cleanly as possible from ball one. It seemed Bairstow and Roy had never left Trent Bridge as they took the attack to the Aussie bowlers in a very similar fashion.
Roy in particular seemed in ultra-destructive mode as he reached a 82-ball ton with a massive six off Nathan Lyon. The pair put on 174-runs for the opening wicket in under 24 overs and although they fell in quick succession, they had very much knocked the stuffing out of the hapless Aussie bowlers making an England win all but a formality.