Sri Lanka play on ´under protest´ after ´ball tamper´ row

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The start of day three of the second Test between West Indies and Sri Lanka at the Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium has been delayed due to a ball change controversy.

The breach relates to changing the condition of the ball.

The Lankan players refused to come out on the field after the umpire Aleem Dar and Ian Gould changed the ball after finding them guilty of trying to shine the ball in an illegal manner.

Players finally took the field at 10:50 a.m., but the Sri Lanka fielders subsequently left the field in protest, remaining just beyond the boundary in discussions with team management, while match officials also huddled in conference.

Animated discussions ensued involving match referee Javagal Srinath and the Sri Lankan pair of coach Chandika Hathurusingha and team manager Asanka Gurusinha.

Officials penalised the Sri Lankans five extra runs for the holdout, but the Sri Lankan camp maintained that despite eventually taking the field, the team was still playing under protest.

They were assessed five penalty runs although that relatively minor punishment was inconsequential compared to the Sri Lankans´ obvious anger at being accused of what amounts to cheating.

Minister of Sports Faiszer Musthapa, and the Competent Authority of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), Kamal Pathmasiri in collaboration with the SLC CEO Ashley De Silva and Chandima Mapatuna, Head of International Cricket of SLC conveyed to the team management that SLC will take all necessary steps to defend any player, in the event any unwarranted allegation is brought against a member of the team.

The umpires took the call to change the ball on Saturday morning and that angered the Sri Lankan team.

Cricket's governing body, the ICC, tweeted that any disciplinary issues would be addressed at the end of play. Pakistan eventually forfeited that game.

The latest ball-tampering incident comes months after the infamous scandal in Newlands, Cape Town that rocked the cricketing world and led to the suspension of Australian cricketers Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft.

For West Indies, only opener Devon Smith and wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich posted scores of substance, 61 and 55 respectively.

Second time around the tourists lost Kusal Perera for 20 en route to 34 for one - a deficit of 13.