Second Test marred by ball-change controversy

Second Test marred by ball-change controversy

Sri Lanka cricket authorities have thrown their support behind their team in the ball-change controversy that marred the third day of the second Test against West Indies, and have vowed to "take all necessary steps to defend any player", unfairly accused of any wrongdoing.

It was on Saturday that Chandimal refused to take the field along with his teammates after the on-field umpires Ian Gould and Aleem Dar charged them to alter the conditions of the ball.

A late strike by speedster Shannon Gabriel gave West Indies control of the second Test against Sri Lanka, but a ball-change controversy marred proceedings, headlining the third day and threatening to disrupt the series here yesterday.

Play started two hours later in St Lucia, following lengthy discussions between match referee Javagal Srinath and Sri Lanka's coaching staff.

However, after deliberations Sri Lankans agreed to the change of ball and to continue playing.

Action finally got under way half-hour before the scheduled lunch interval after Sri Lanka Cricket authorities instructed the team to take the field but "under protest".

"SLC advised the team to take the field to ensure the continuity of the match and wish to commend the decision taken by the team to continue with the game "under protest" to ensure the upholding of the spirit of the game", the organisation said in a statement on Cricinfo.

Dinesh Chandimal with the umpires during the second Test between West Indies and Sri Lanka.

The ICC tweeted the news on Sunday, saying more details would follow.

Steve Smith and David Warner were stripped of the captaincy and vice-captaincy respectively and banned from playing worldwide cricket for 12 months. "But they were informed by SLC to not to forfeit the game", an SLC source told Cricbuzz.

Earlier, Australia's Cameron Bancroft, Sri Lanka's Dasun Shanaka (2017) and South Africa's Faf du Plessis (2016) were also held for the same charge.

At the close of play on Day 2, Windies were 118 for 2 in reply to the opposition's first-innings score of 253.

In its second innings, Sri Lanka lost Kusal Perera to a thick edge behind off Shannon Gabriel two overs before stumps.

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