Sri Lanka were ready to forfeit St. Lucia Test

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Sri Lankan captain Dinesh Chandimal has denied ball-tampering by using candies and will face a hearing at the conclusion of the ongoing second Test against the West Indies, the International Cricket Council (ICC) said Sunday.

The ICC said Chandimal was "charged for breaching Level 2.2.9 of the ICC Code of Conduct" which relates to "changing the condition of the ball".

The Sri Lanka skipper refused to lead his team onto the field for the start of day three after he was informed by umpires Ian Gould and Aleem Dar the home side had been awarded a five-run penalty due to concerns over the condition of the ball.

Sri Lanka's players then took to the field at 10.50am local time, 50 minutes after the scheduled start, but did not start play for another 40 minutes as the dispute continued with captain Dinesh Chandimal arguing with the umpires.

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After discussions between officials and the players, match referee Javagal Srinath upheld Gould and Dar's decision, with the five penalty runs taking the Windies to 123 for two in response to the tourists' 253 all out.

The umpires made a decision to change the match ball, which was 44.3 overs old, ahead of the third day in St Lucia, prompting Sri Lanka's players to stay in their dressing room.

Sri Lanka Cricket advised the team to play "under protest" and that team management said no players "engaged in any wrongdoing" - while it would take all steps to defend any player charged with "any unwarranted allegation".

Match officials charged Chandimal after television footage from the final session's play on Friday appeared to show the captain taking candies out from his left pocket and putting these in his mouth, before applying the artificial substance to the ball which the umpires viewed as an attempt to change its condition. It was done to ensure the continuity of the match. If there are any, code of conduct charges will follow as per usual at close of play'.

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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.

Steve Smith and David Warner were stripped of the captaincy and vice-captaincy respectively and banned from playing worldwide cricket for 12 months. But fast bowler Lahiru Kumara took the most wickets, four.

Batting a second time, Sri Lanka closed on 34 for one.

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