Lakmal front-runner to lead Sri Lanka in third Test against WI

Seamer Suranga Lakmal has emerged as the front-runner to lead Sri Lanka in case captain Dinesh Chandimal is suspended for the third and final Test match against West Indies that gets underway on Saturday in Barbados.

Lakmal (31) and veteran Rangana Herath (40) were among the choices to lead the team in case the ICC appointed Judicial Commissioner Michael Beloff (QC) found the Sri Lankan captain guilty of ball tampering after he appealed against the charges laid by Match Referee Javagal Srinath. However, Sri Lanka Cricket revealed on Friday (June 22) that Herath split the webbing between his ring and small fingers of his non bowling hand during training on Thursday and was a doubtful starter for the day-night Test.

Herath didn’t feature in the drawn second Test as Sri Lanka opted for offspinner Akila Dananjaya in the attack that comprised three seamers.

Meanwhile, Chandimal faces a lengthy ban on two counts. While he has appealed the one Test ban for ball tampering, he has admitted to the more serious Level three offence which relates to ‘conduct that is contrary to the spirit of the game.’ If found guilty, Chandimal could miss both Test matches against South Africa at home next month.

Head Coach Chandika Hathurusingha and Manager Asanka Gurusinha also have admitted the offence after Sri Lanka held up play for two hours on the third day of the second Test in St. Lucia after the umpires alleged that Chandimal had tampered with the ball. The coach and manager’s participation in the final Test is not in doubt but they could miss both Tests against South Africa at home.

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