Dale Steyn Dinesh Chandimal Suranga Lakmal Sri Lanka South Africa 2018
Dale Steyn lets one rip in the tour match © AFP

Sri Lanka have opted to bat against South Africa in the first Test of the three-match series, at Galle. They have opted to go in with a solitary fast bowler — captain Suranga Lakmal — along with spinners Rangana Herath, Dilruwan Perera, and Lakshan Sandakan. South Africa, on the other hand, have recalled now-fit Dale Steyn and Kagiso Rabada to go with Vernon Philander and spinners Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi.

Sri Lanka are led by Lakmal as captain Dinesh Chandimal, coach Chandika Hathurusingha and manager Asanka Gurusinha have all opted out of the first Test against South Africa. They had pleaded guilty to violating the spirit of the game last month during Sri Lanka’s second Test against West Indies.

The ICC said a judicial commission hearing ended overnight, hours before the first Test against the visiting South Africans was due to start at Galle on Thursday, but a decision would be announced “in due course”. The trio was charged by ICC for their involvement in Sri Lanka’s refusal to take the field in St Lucia on the third day of the second Test, which caused a two-hour delay in the start of play. Sri Lanka were protesting the award of 5 runs to West Indies after Chandimal was caught tampering with the ball during the previous day’s play.

Chandimal missed the third and final Test after losing his appeal against a one-match ban and a fine equal to his match fees. Match referee Javagal Srinath had said Chandimal applied an artificial substance to the ball in violation of the ICC Code of Conduct. Chandimal was suspected of using saliva and a sweet that he had in his mouth to tamper with the ball in an attempt to make it spin more. His act was caught by TV cameras.

(with inputs from AFP)