Suranga Lakmal to replace banned Dinesh Chandimal as Sri Lanka’s Test Captain

Sri Lanka has appointed a pace bowler as Test captain, Suranga Lakmal to take the charge of Dinesh Chandimal in his absence for the third Test to be played against West Indies.

On Saturday June 23, 2018, Sri Lanka appointed Suranga Lakmal as captain for the series-saving Test as Dinesh Chandimal has been banned for one match due to ball tampering incident. He was suspended for the maiden Caribbean day-night Test match on Saturday, after losing appeal over his charges.

He was caught on TV cameras when he was applying saliva apparently to the ball, with sweet in his mouth. Two suspension points and a fine of 100% of match fee has been charged and his appeal has been dismissed by the International Cricket Council. His ban is a recent blow to Sri Lanka after a lot of defeats, including a whitewash in ODI against India and a Test, as well as corruption charges.

Due to these instances, Sri Lanka Cricket has no hope other than finding a new Test captain for the landmark cricket. They picked 31-year-old fast bowler Lakmal as the 16th Test captain of Sri Lanka.

West Indies have won the opening Test and are 1-0 in Trinidad before the draw in St. Lucia. The International Cricket Council upholds their culpable incident when Chandimal was charged for changing the ball’s condition during the second Test.

Javagal Srinath, a Match referee, said the 28-year-old applied saliva with artificial substance to the ball and it causes violation of the Code of Conduct in ICC. As a result, he was fined 100 percent of match fee and two suspension points for his offence. The suspension points refer to a ban from two ODIs or one Test or two T20s.

He had a sweet in his mouth which he used along with his saliva to tamper with his ball. The TV footage has caught his act. According to Srinath, Chandimal has not been more convincing in the defence.

He said, “Dinesh admitted that he had something in his mouth during the hearing but he couldn’t remember what he had in his mouth. It seemed unconvincing on his defence.”

Lakmal will be captaining Sri Lanka in any format. The islanders churned through captains recently and had seven players to take charge over the past two years in all three formats.

Meanwhile, second hearing by ICC is scheduled to be held on July 10 after Sri Lanka manager Asanka Gurusinha and Sri Lanka coach Chandika Hathurusinghe, apart from Chandimal, who admitted to conduct the same for the game’s spirit.

ICC chief Executive David Richardson charged these three on Tuesday for being involved in the refusal of Sri Lanka team to the field in St. Lucia in the beginning of game on Saturday, which caused delay of two hours in the beginning of play.

ICC added in a statement, “Gurusinha and Hathurusinghe may keep doing their professional duties, along with Barbados Test, until hearing starts.”

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