Only two months ago, three Australia cricketers were slapped with long suspensions for their role in the ball tampering scandal in Cape Town. Dinesh Chandimal, however, is unlikely to face punishments beyond the one-Test suspension the ICC has dealt out for the tampering itself (the “spirit of cricket” charge is a separate one). Here is why the two incidents will be treated differently.

There is minimal outrage in Sri Lanka

Where Cricket Australia’s response was spurred by public condemnation of the Cape Town incident, Sri Lanka’s public has, at most, expressed only quiet disappointment so far. Two possible reasons why the public reactions have been dissimilar:

  • Australian sportspeople are generally put on a high pedestal, and allegations of cheating – even for what was a Level 2 ICC offence – are taken seriously. Sri Lanka’s cricketers are widely admired, but do not face anywhere near the level of public scrutiny that many others from around the world contend with. Several former players, including the super-popular Kumar Sangakkara, have spoken of the relatively laidback nature of Sri Lankan fame. As such, there is not so high an expectation of morality, even from a Sri Lanka captain.