Chandimal receives maximum punishment for violating the spirit of the game


Independent Judicial Commissioner The Hon Michael Beloff QC has handed Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal, coach Chandika Hathurusinghe and manager Asanka Gurusinha eight suspension points, which means the trio have also been suspended for the first four ODIs along with both the Tests against South Africa.

The three were charged by the ICC Chief Executive David Richardson on 19 June and had pleaded guilty to breaching Level 3, Article 2.3.1, which relates to “conduct that is contrary to the spirit of the game”, during last month’s St Lucia Test against the West Indies.

The Chairman of the ICC Code of Conduct Commission had held a hearing over video conference on Wednesday, 11 July, to determine the sanction, and, after more than six hours of hearing, which was attended by legal counsels of both the sides, had reserved his decision.

During the hearing, however, it was mutually agreed that, since the minimum sanction for a Level 3 offence was suspension from two Tests, the three will not participate in the Galle Test (played from 12-14 July) and Colombo Test (to be played from 20-24 July), and these will be credited against the sanction imposed by the Judicial Commissioner.

As eight suspension points equate to a ban from two Tests and four ODIs/T20Is or eight ODIs/T20Is, whatever comes first for the player or player support personnel, the Judicial Commissioner’s ruling means the three will also remain suspended for the Dambulla ODIs (29 July and 1 August) as well as the Kandy ODIs (5 and 8 August).

Furthermore, six demerit points each have been added to the disciplinary records of Chandimal, Hathurusinghe and Gurusinha.

Dinesh Chandimal now has 10 demerit points against his name
Dinesh Chandimal now has 10 demerit points against his name

While these are first offences for Hathurusinghe and Gurusinha, this is the second time Chandimal has been sanctioned since the introduction of the revised Code in September 2016. Chandimal received four demerit points for breaching Article 2.2.9 in the same Test, and, therefore, he now has 10 demerit points against his name.

All Level 3 breaches carry an imposition of between four and eight suspension points.

Any suspension imposed for crossing the demerit point threshold will run concurrently with the suspension points and therefore the trio will not face any additional suspensions.

The suspension for Chandimal means he can neither be nominated as a substitute fielder nor can he enter any part of the playing area although he will be permitted to enter the player’s dressing room.

The suspension for Hathurusinghe and Gurusinha means they will be barred from entering the players’ dressing room and attending post-match ceremonies and presentations.

If Chandimal reaches 12 or more demerit points within a 24-month period, he will be suspended from either three Tests or 6 ODIs/T20Is or a combination thereof, whatever comes first for him.

The three had been charged by the ICC Chief Executive David Richardson on 19 June for their involvement in the Sri Lanka team’s refusal to take the field at the start of the third day’s play. This action was alleged to be a serious breach of the Laws of Cricket and contrary to the spirit of the game.