Sri Lanka v India, 3rd Test, SSC, 5th day September 1, 2015

Ishant, Chandimal handed one-match bans

ESPNcricinfo staff

Ishant Sharma and Dinesh Chandimal have been handed one-match suspensions for behaviour that breached the ICC code of conduct during the SSC Test, while Dhammika Prasad and Lahiru Thirimanne were fined 50% of their match fees.

This means that Ishant (who received "two suspension points") will miss India's first Test against South Africa, in Mohali, in November. Chandimal ("one suspension point") will miss Sri Lanka's opening ODI in the home series against West Indies.

Chandimal was penalised, an ICC release stated, for a breach relating to "inappropriate and deliberate physical contact with a player". The incident occurred in the 76th over of India's second innings, when Chandimal made what was deemed to be deliberate physical contact with Ishant, who was batting at the time, even while the batsman was in the middle of an exchange of words with bowler Dhammika Prasad.

The ICC release said Thirimanne had also got involved at this time, despite two warnings from the umpires not to, and he hence was fined. Prasad too was fined for his role in this incident.

India captain Virat Kohli, however, said after the game that this particular incident was to India's benefit, as it charged up Ishant. "I was very happy with the incident when he was batting because it happened at the right time for us - we had to bowl yesterday and they made him angry and it couldn't have happened at a better time for us," Kohli said. "The timing was absolutely perfect and everything fell in place for us as far as being aggressive is concerned. And the way he bowled in the second innings, he didn't concede a boundary for 19 overs. And that's the kind of pressure he created on those batsmen because of one incident. So it had to be controlled but in the end it benefitted us."

Ishant received his suspension for a separate incident in the final innings of the Test, wherein he gave Sri Lanka opener Upul Tharanga a send-off after dismissing him. By doing so, he had breached the ICC codes relating 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".

Ishant had also been fined for two separate incidents during the second Test, a total of 65% of his match fee for having given send-offs to Thirimanne and Chandimal. Hence he received a suspension this time. Another such breach in the next 12 months could have him suspended for a fixed period going up to a year.

All four players admitted to their offences after the game, and so there was no formal hearing.

Match referee Andy Pycroft said after the match: "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."

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