The ICC tweeted the news on Sunday, saying more details would follow. The charge constitutes a breach under Article 2.2.9 of the ICC’s code of conduct, which deals with altering the condition of the ball by “unfair” means.
Sri Lanka had delayed taking the field on day three of the Test over the tampering claims laid against them by match officials. The officials had also, in keeping with the rules, awarded West Indies five extra runs. The match eventually resumed after a two-hour delay, with Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) pointing out that the players were continuing with the game “under protest”.
ESPNcricinfo understands that the umpires had laid their charge after reviewing footage of the second day’s play, and finding evidence pointing to the application of a substance to the ball.
Following the drama on the third morning of the Test, SLC had released a statement backing its players. “The team management has informed us that Sri Lankan players have not engaged in any wrongdoing,” the release said. “SLC shall take all necessary steps to defend any player, in the event any unwarranted allegation is brought against a member of the team.”
Three other players were recently charged by the ICC under the same article of the code of conduct: Cameron Bancroft (2018), Dasun Shanaka (2017) and Faf du Plessis (2016). Shanaka’s charge means this is the second time in two years that Sri Lanka have found themselves part of a controversy over the condition of the ball.