Colombo, Sep 1: India's fast bowler Ishant Sharma was today handed a 1-Test ban by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for his altercation with Sri Lankan players during the 3rd Test at Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) ground.
As the players celebrated this rare win, hours later came the news of their leading bowler being handed a suspension. Last week, he was fined 65 per cent of his match fees for provoking Sri Lankan players during the 2nd Test.
Yesterday (Monday), Ishant, while batting, had an altercation with paceman Dhammika Prasad, Dinesh Chandimal and Lahiru Thirimanne. All 4 players were earlier today charged for breaching the ICC Code of Conduct. Chandimal was today handed 1-ODI ban while Dhammika and Thirimanne were fined 50 per cent of their match fees.
"Three Sri Lanka players and India's Ishant Sharma have been found guilty of breaching the ICC Code of Conduct in two separate incidents during the penultimate day's play in the third Test against India at the Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) in Colombo," ICC said in a media release.
"Dinesh Chandimal has been handed one Suspension Point for breaching Article 2.2.7 of the ICC Code of Conduct, which relates to "inappropriate and deliberate physical contact with a Player," ICC added.
Chandimal will miss Sri Lanka's next One-Day International, which will be against the West Indies on 1 November at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.
The incident happened in the 76th over when Chandimal made deliberate physical contact with Ishant when India's number-11 batsman was in the middle of a heated exchange with fast bowler Dhammika Prasad.
Just before the contact between Chandimal and Ishant, Thirimanne had twice ignored the umpires' warnings not to get involved in the incident.
"For their roles in the incident, both Thirimanne and Prasad have been fined 50 per cent of their match fees. The two players were charged under Article 2.1.1, which relates to "conduct that is contrary to the spirit of the game".
"In a separate incident, which happened in the first over of Sri Lanka's second innings, Ishant was handed 2 Suspension Points for giving a send-off to opener Upul Tharanga," ICC said.
Ishant was charged under Article 2.1.7, which relates to "using language, actions or gestures which disparage or which could provoke an aggressive reaction from a batsman upon his/her dismissal during an International Match".
This was the third time that Ishant been found guilty of giving the dismissed batsman a send-off during this series. Therefore, he has been suspended for his next match and will miss India's first Test against South Africa in Mohali from 5 November.
If Ishant commits a further breach of Article 2.1.7 within 12 months, it will amount to his fourth offence and, as such, he will face an imposition of 8 Suspension Points or a suspension for a fixed period of time ranging between the equivalent of eight Suspension Points and one year.
Commenting on his decisions, match referee Andy Pycroft of Zimbabwe, said: "Monday's incidents were not good advertisements for international cricket. These experienced cricketers forgot their fundamental responsibilities of respecting their opponents as well as the umpires, and got involved in incidents which were clearly against the spirit of the game. Their actions cannot be condoned and must be discouraged.
"Chandimal was not directly involved in the incident between Prasad and Sharma, but came into the conflict and made deliberate physical contact with Sharma, and had the umpires not intervened, the situation could have escalated.
"As regards Sharma, he had been put on notice after being charged twice for send-offs in the previous Test. Any repeat of this action within the next 12 months will potentially see him suspended for a much longer period."
Following the close of play on Tuesday, the 4 players admitted the offences and accepted the proposed sanctions. As such, there was no need for formal hearings.
About Suspension Points
One Suspension Point in the Code equates to a suspension from one ODI or one T20I, to be applied to the subsequent international match in which the player sanctioned is most likely to participate in.
Two Suspension Points in the Code equates to a suspension from one Test or two ODIs or two T20Is, to be applied to the subsequent international matches in which the player sanctioned is most likely to participate in.