When you consider the whole episode, all I can see is pure idiocy. Holding up play for two hours, multiplied that to an extent that should have never reached. If Hathurusinghe & Gurusinghe had seen that footage beforehand, probably the things would have been different.
Match officials could have easily checked the video footage on 3rd day evening & issued the charges on that day itself. Waiting for 4th day morning to do it & announce, just 10 minutes before the scheduled start is ethically unacceptable. They are also partly responsible for this fiasco.
Chandimal is an exceptionally good Test batter. SL cannot afford to lose him in the vital decider in current series or in forthcoming Test series vs SA. Hope he would getaway with some lighter punishment.
ICC had already identified many foreign substances such as; Hair Gel, Lip Barm, Vaseline on body, Suntan Lotions etc as ball's shiny surface enhancers, to get an unlawful advantage in swing. When you watch the video footage, the timing of that unknown substance put in his mouth & the spit came out of his mouth to fingers, for shining the ball seems to be the decisive factor went against Chandimal. On top of that, his crazy answer in the inquiry to say, that he cannot remember what he had taken out of his pocket to put in his own mouth, certainly ruins his own credibility. Even if you consider his idiotic action was unintentional, his senseless answer is valid only for baby under 3yrs.
The law says; applying any foreign substance on the shiny surface of the ball, other than sweat & saliva, considered to be a violation under ball tampering. Therefore how many or what types of nibbles he had in his pocket, may not be a valid excuse to defend his answer, as we hoped
No matter what Chandimal had chewed just seconds before, he had applied his saliva CONTAMINATED with some extract of that substance he put in his mouth. It seems the Timing & the Process made him undeniably guilty of the offense stipulated in the book. This must have resulted his verdict.
Is it possible that to happen unintentionally in 2 separate occasions? Or Chandimal that we know, is an innocent saint? You will have to decide the answer for these on your own judgment.
All I know is, he certainly was the main cause of that odi whitewash Vs Pk in 2017. Coming at No-3, Chandimal repeatedly aborted SL's progress or momentum beyond recovery. Read the following:.
How Dinesh Chandimal Curtail Sri Lanka Innings with perfection
Where Sri Lanka lost the 3rd ODI against Pakistan?
Disgracefully, Chandimal collected just 41 runs from 5 Odis in that Whitewash at an unbelievably low 8.20 Average & 47.12 Strike Rate!
There is no other international batter on record with 8+ yrs experience, had ever come up with such a devastating batting performance in the traceable history of 5-odi series.!
That Whitewash ended UT's brief period as L/O skipper, despite fighting hard a lone battle, trying to avert the whitewashes (Vs Pk/SA) & win matches for SL. Upul had even made an unbeaten 112* carrying his bat through an inning for the 1st time in SL batting history & another 61 Vs Pk. He also topped the batting with 50 Av in that series as in SA, trying to stop the repeated rot in batting.
As a result of horribly lopsided standard in selections, UT's captaincy got stripped, while previous series-doomed culprit Chandimal was rewarded with Odi captaincy in the next triangular series played in BD. Only in SL such miracles do happen. Upul silently played under Chandimal & helped SL to win that series with his bat, receiving MoM award as well in the final. This is the unique difference that I see between genuine patriotism & personal greed, among so called senior players in SL today.
Ultimately, the leader with longest tenure of failures & already discarded Angelo Mathews was reappointed as L/O skipper. Now Mathews will carry forward until his 4th attempt of leading the team SL in global competitions, consecutively flopped under him to date. Nothing to be surprised…. what else could we expect from a system blind as a bat?
According to the latest developments, now the depleted Sri Lanka, without a single senior batter with experience available in the 17-men squad, will be expected to make a big closing statement to avert the series defeat & possible slide in the ICC 6th ranking spot. This clearly shows the shortsightedness & inability of responsible Selectors, who failed to do a proper job based on performance merits.
Otherwise, Country's most experienced, best in-form front order batter Upul Tharanga (9k international runs – 18 tons & 45 half-tons) wouldn't have been overlooked for this important series in WI. Currently UT is the most consistently productive, experienced SL batter in international & domestic scene in both formats (Past 2 years since Jan 2016 : 2,010 runs @ 40 Av -4 x 100+ & 12 x 50+ from 60 innings – in Test+Odi) and in recent Domestic 2018 Super-4 leagues (500 runs @ 50 Av- 3 x100- 2 x50 from 10 innings FC+ List A) . But he was completely ignored & left to idle at home alone, without even allowing a spot in BD touring SL-A team, to keep up his excellent batting form.
Just look at some of the batters preferred over Tharanga for this WI series : 1) Mathews (Test 28 Av since 2016 & as usual he abandoned the side after 1st test of the series ) 2) Kusal Perera (career Test Av 28 – since 2016 Av 26 / in current series so far 64 runs @ 14 Av from 4 ings) 3) Mathew`s replacement Danushka Gunathilake (Career Test 12 Av/ 30 FC av) .! As long as, this kind of messed up decision making sick minds prevail among responsible navigators, catastrophic end is inevitable.
Hope somehow a miracle would happen to save this series for SL.!.