Sri Lanka Captain Switch During T20 Match Causes ICC Probe
The Int'l Cricket Council is "likely to look into Sri Lanka's captaincy switch" in Monday's World Twenty20 Super Eight match against England, according to Sudipto Ganguly of REUTERS. Regular captain Mahela Jayawardene handed over his captaincy to former skipper Kumar Sangakkara "to avoid the threat of a ban because of slow over rates." Sri Lanka was "fined for a slow over rate" during its match against West Indies, and under ICC rules Jayawardene will face a one-match suspension if Sri Lanka infringes again in the next 12 months under his captaincy. Jayawardene "continued to take the decisions on the field on Monday, although Sangakkara went in for the toss with England captain Stuart Broad, starting a debate whether or not the move was against the spirit of the game" (REUTERS, 10/2). The AP reported Jayawardene said that it was team Manager Charith Senanayake's idea "to change captains, and the team looked into the ICC code of conduct before going ahead with the plan." The ICC rules do not make any reference to switching captains before any int'l match. Jayawardene said, "I’m sure they’ll change the rules after this, but hopefully not in this tournament." The ICC did not "specifically address the issue" on Tuesday, but said that it will "review the rules in the tournament aftermath" (AP, 10/2). The TNN's Nitin Naik opined the question that must be asked is: "Did Sri Lanka cheat?" The answer "must be no, because they played within the rules." One must further ask: "Did they tweak the rules?" That question "should be answered in the negative," as well. However, what they did do was "find a loophole in the law and used it to suit them to the T." Jayawardene said after the win, "The intention was not wrong. I was already on a warning for an over-rate issue, and if it happened again I could have missed the next match." The ICC could perhaps "follow the FIFA model" by waiving penalties and cards once the teams reach the knock out rounds (TNN, 10/2).