New ball-tampering row engulfs cricket
INTERNATIONAL cricket appears to have another ball tampering scandal on its hands after incredible scenes during the second Test match between Sri Lanka and West Indies.
The Sri Lankan's refused to take the field at the start of the third day's play after the umpires changed the ball and added five runs to West Indies score.
The game at Gros Inlet came to a standstill as Sri Lankan management and players argued with match officials for almost two hours.
At one point Sri Lanka emerged and looked set to resume before walking off toward the boundary again. Play eventually started two hours late.
Cameras caught team Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal, coach Hathurusinga and match referee Javagal Srinath arguing over the ball in the change rooms during the delay.
Sri Lanka was reportedly told of the charge against the team 10 minutes before play began.
The umpires and West Indian batsmen took the field but the opposition did not appear.
Cricket was left reeling after Australian players were caught using sandpaper on the ball during a Test in South Africa in March.
Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft all received hefty bans from Cricket Australia.
Warner and Smith, who are serving 12-month bans imposed by Australian cricket, are set to play in a T20 league in Canada next month while Warner has just been announced as the replacement for D'Arcy Short at St Lucia Stars in the Caribbean Premier League, which begins in August.
Umpires Ian Gould, who was standing in the Cape Town match, is officiating in the West Indies with Aleem Dar.
Play eventually resumed with West Indies score elevated from 2-118 to 2-123. The laws of cricket say five runs are awarded to the other side if the umpires decide the condition of the ball has been altered illegally.
The ICC put out a brief statement on Twitter promising more information after play.
"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 ruling body said.
"If there are any, Code of Conduct charges will follow as per usual at close of play."
Sri Lanka cricket said it was "reviewing the situation".
ICC regulations allow only a one match ban for ball tampering but there are moves to increase the penalty.
The umpires did not award runs to South Africa in the sandpaper incident because they adjudged the ball not to be damaged.
Former Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara was commentating on the game between Australia and England when the controversy unfolded but gave his views during the lunch break.
The umpires had called over Sri Lanka's Akita Dananjaya late on the second day and asked to see the ball. The bowler had bandaging on one hand and was asked to show he had nothing in the other.
He wasn't the only fielder with elaborate bandaging.
The officials checked the ball and let play continue, but changed the ball the next morning.
"I think they (Sri Lanka) feel hard done by," Sangakkara said.
"There's been no accusation of ball tampering (the night before). They are shining the ball in the allowed manner. The regulations stipulate you can put saliva on the ball and shine it.
"They are not using a foreign object or material to shine that ball so I think everyone's a bit jumpy and walking on egg shells after what happened in South Africa.
"Maybe Gouldy was just being over cautious. They saw something that the ball needed to be changed. Maybe it was the shape."
In 2006 the Pakistan side refused to take the field after it was docked five runs for ball tampering in a match against England at The Oval.
The match was abandoned and England was eventually awarded a win in the Test match as Pakistan was ruled to have forfeited.