India’s Ishant Sharma was on Tuesday (1) suspended by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for one Test match and Dinesh Chandimal of Sri Lanka banned from a one-day international for misconduct during the final Test in Colombo.
Two other Sri Lankan players, Dhammika Prasad and Lahiru Thirimanne, were fined 50 per cent of their undisclosed match fees for similar offences during the match, the ICC said in a statement.
All four players were involved in a heated flare-up during the fourth day’s play on Monday, prompting match referee Andy Pycroft to charge the players under the ICC’s code of conduct.
Tempers rose in the final session as Sharma and the Sri Lankan fielders had a heated exchange after Prasad bowled three consecutive bouncers to the Indian tailender.
Chandimal nudged Sharma with his shoulder and Thirimanne also joined in the verbal spat, forcing umpires Nigel Llong and Rod Tucker to step in to calm down the players.
As Sharma hurried off the field after the Indian innings ended, Prasad sprinted behind him and television pictures showed the two players speaking to each other outside the dressing rooms.
Sharma, who had been fined 65 per cent of his match fees for misconduct during the second Test at the P Sara Oval in Colombo, was penalised again for taunting opener Upul Tharanga after he dismissed him.
The lanky fast bowler will miss India’s first Test against South Africa in Mohali from November 5, the ICC said.
Chandimal will sit out the one-day international between Sri Lanka and the West Indies in Colombo on November 1.
“Monday’s incidents were not good advertisements for international cricket,” Pycroft said.
“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,” Pycroft was quoted as saying in the ICC statement.
“Their actions cannot be condoned and must be discouraged.”
All four players admitted the offences and accepted the proposed sanctions, the statement added.
Indian captain Virat Kohli said the incidents had benefitted his team because it fired up Sharma in Sri Lanka’s second innings.
“An angry fast bowler is a captain’s delight,” Kohli said after his team’s series-clinching 117-run victory at the Sinhalese Sports Club on Tuesday.
“It happened at the right time because we had to bowl after that. I was very happy that he has an aggressive mindset.”