Jason Holder's suspension for a slow over-rate has been labelled "punitive" by Cricket West Indies president David Cameron.

West Indies captain Holder guided his team to a superb Test series win over England with a match to spare, having secured a 10-wicket hammering in the second game in Antigua.

However, he will not play in the series finale against Joe Root's men in St Lucia, which starts on Saturday, having been sanctioned by the ICC.

The Windies were two overs short of their over-rate target, which led to Holder receiving a one-match ban and a 40 per cent fine of his match fee.

But Cameron believes the punishment handed to Holder, who was found guilty of a minor over-rate offence during the Barbados Test against Sri Lanka last year, sends out the wrong message.

"We will, of course, abide by the ICC ruling, but we have to wonder if such punitive action at a pivotal stage of the series is good for cricket," Cameron said. 

"What a shame if the series is remembered not for the sparkling play of the reinvigorated West Indies players but for a crippling decision made by a rule that ought to be modified.

"Jason now has the opportunity to benefit from resting his body over the period of the next Test and be well prepared for the upcoming ODI series against England which begins on February 20."

Holder has made 229 runs in the series thus far, including an unbeaten double century in the first Test, while the all-rounder has also taken seven wickets.

Sri Lanka have dropped captain Dinesh Chandimal for the Test series in South Africa, with Dimuth Karunaratne to skipper the team in his absence.

Chandimal made just 24 runs over four innings in the 2-0 series defeat to Australia and he has been released to play domestic cricket in a bid to rediscover his form.

Karunaratne will captain his country for the first time and is in good nick with the bat having made five half-centuries in his last six Tests.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Sadeera Samarawickrama, batsman Roshen Silva and spinning all-rounder Dilruwan Perera have also been left out having been part of the squad against Australia.

There are recalls for Kaushal Silva and Milinda Siriwardana, while uncapped quartet Oshada Fernando, Angelo Perera, Mohamed Shiraz and Lasith Embuldeniya are included.

Sri Lanka will play two Tests in South Africa, the first of which starts in Durban on February 13.

 

Sri Lanka squad:

Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Niroshan Dickwella, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kaushal Silva, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera, Milinda Siriwardana, Dhananjaya De Silva, Oshada Fernando, Angelo Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Kasun Rajitha, Vishwa Fernando, Chamika Karunaratne, Mohamed Shiraz, Lakshan Sandakan, Lasith Embuldeniya

Viv Richards believes England have been "outgunned" and surprised by the quality of West Indies during their Test series.

The Windies have already sealed a series win over England heading into the third Test, which begins on Sunday.

England have had no answers, making scores of 77, 246, 187 and 132 in two heavy defeats in the series so far.

Richards feels some of the tourists' batsmen have been exposed, surprised by how good the Windies have been.

"You have to look at it in the cold light of day, England have been outgunned. I don't think they expected it. I don't think they ­expected West Indies to be this competitive," the great told The Mirror.

"They have played the better cricket and have been in great form, and it has ­really hurt ­England. The West Indies are bowling at a pace that, whoever you are in world cricket as a batter, you won't like it. England haven't coped at all with it.

"There are some real chinks in that England batting order, and they have been exposed by the pace bowlers.

"They were able to get stuck into the [Jonny] Bairstows and the [Joe] Roots earlier than they would have liked and that can play havoc in the minds of some individuals."

Bairstow has been England's leading run-scorer in the series, managing just 108 at an average of 27.

Leeward Islands Cricket Board COO, Vernon Springer, believes Keemo Paul is the natural replacement for Jason Holder.

Windies captain, Jason Holder, has been suspended for the final Test against the touring England. Holder was suspended for having a slow overrate in the second Test, even though the game ended within three days. Is there a ploy to help England avoid a whitewash?

Dinesh Chandimal says Sri Lanka's struggling batsmen must "step up" after they were consigned to an emphatic whitewash by Australia in Canberra.

Mitchell Starc finished with match figures of 10-100 as Australia sealed a 366-run hammering and 2-0 clean sweep on day four.

Sri Lanka lost 3-0 to England and 1-0 to New Zealand in their previous two Test series and South Africa will be strong favourites to extend their dismal run when a two-match showdown starts a week on Wednesday.

The tourists were skittled out cheaply in all four innings against Tim Paine's side and captain Chandimal knows they must raise their game against the Proteas.

"We were outplayed as a team in all three departments," said Chandimal. "Credit goes to Australia; they have played some outstanding cricket throughout the series. They deserved to win like this.

"We just need to work harder than what we are doing. It's always tough playing in Australia against a good bowling attack but we all know before we come here it's always challenging.

"As a batting unit we have to step up. That's the one area we have concern. I'm sure the boys will come good in South Africa.

"The only positive is the slip catching for our fast bowlers and that's one positive we can take from this series. I don't want to talk about the negatives and sure the boys we can learn from it and come good in South Africa."

Tim Paine revealed he was dreaming about the Ashes as early as last year and feels Australia proved in their whitewash of Sri Lanka that they can "beat anyone in the world".

Australia responded to their home series defeat by India with an emphatic 2-0 hammering of Sri Lanka, winning the second Test in Canberra by 366 runs, with Mitchell Starc claiming match figures of 10-100.

England will be Australia's next opponents in the longest format and captain Paine says he has been thinking about defending the urn for months.

Asked when he would start thinking about the Ashes, the skipper said: "About six months ago... I've been dreaming about it, actually.

"I'm happy now that we've got this out of the way. I can put everything into it because every Australian cricketer can't wait to go and play an Ashes series and particularly in England.

"It's something that I've certainly dreamed of as a kid. I didn't think I'd be going over as the captain, but in the back of my mind I've been thinking about it, I've been watching England, keeping a really close eye on them, I can't wait to get over there.

"I've got a fair idea what it [Australia's squad] might look like. But I'm not a selector, so I get asked my input. But I think they would have a pretty good picture of what it would look like.

"What we've seen over this summer is that we've now started to build a squad with plenty of depth. So, there's probably anywhere between 16 and 20 players now that we think are in the mix, a really good place to be."

Paine thinks Australia proved they compete with the best with the way they dismantled Sri Lanka.

He added: "Honestly, we were quite disappointed with the way we played against India. I think the differences between the two series were that our ability to bowl as a group against India wasn't quite there at times.

"Whether that's because Virat [Kohli] and [Cheteshwar] Pujara were more patient than us and forced our bowlers out of their plans, but I thought we turned it around in this series with a real focus on bowling for each other and playing cricket as a team.

"Obviously you need individual performances to win moments, but overall the stronger our team can be and the more that we play for each other – this series, or Sri Lanka and the way that we played in these last two Test matches – I think we can beat anyone in the world."

West Indies will be without Jason Holder for the third and final Test against England after their captain was handed a one-match ban by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

Holder's side recorded a crushing 10-wicket victory in the second Test to wrap up the series, but the skipper has been punished for a slow over-rate in Antigua.

The Windies were two overs short of their target, so Holder will play no part when they attempt to pull off a whitewash in St Lucia and the all-rounder has also been fined 40 per cent of his match fee.

Holder's team-mates were docked 20 per cent of their match fees by the ICC.

The captain was also found guilty of a minor over-rate offence during the Barbados Test against Sri Lanka last year.

Holder has played a huge part in the Windies' triumph over England, making a first Test double century at the Kensington Oval to claim the man of the match award and also impressing with the ball, while leading the side so impressively.

Vice-captain Kraigg Brathwaite is expected to lead the team in Holder's absence, having done so in two Tests against Bangladesh last year while the 27-year-old was injured.

The final Test of the series gets under way on Saturday.

Mitchell Starc claimed 10 wickets for the match as Australia outclassed Sri Lanka by 366 runs in the second Test for a 2-0 series victory.

Starc dominated with the ball on Monday, the Australia paceman taking 5-46 and the final wicket to skittle Sri Lanka for 149 and secure a series sweep at Manuka Oval.

The 29-year-old, who finished with 5-54 in the first innings, earned his second Test 10-wicket match haul, having managed 11 against Sri Lanka in August 2016.

It was also Australia's first Test series triumph since the 2017-18 Ashes against England, which they won 4-1.

Sri Lanka pair Dimuth Karunaratne (8) and Lahiru Thirimanne returned to the crease on Monday at 17-0 and needing another 499 runs to win after being set 516 by Australia.

Starc only required seven balls to make his first breakthrough of the morning, an in-swinging delivery bundling over the stumps and sending Karunaratne back to the pavilion.

Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal (4) was the next to follow four overs later as the tourists were reduced to 28-2 by Starc after the skipper was caught at third slip.

Pat Cummins (3-15) joined in on the action when the Australia paceman claimed a caught-and-bowled to remove Thirimanne for 30.

But it was the Starc show in Canberra, where he almost claimed a hat-trick before lunch after back-to-back wickets of Niroshan Dickwella (27) and Kusal Perera (0), but Dhananjaya de Silva managed to thwart the Aussie quick.

A delivery kept low from Starc and hit Dickwella's off stump before Perera edged through to wicketkeeper and captain Tim Paine as Sri Lanka stumbled to lunch at 87-5.

There was no respite after the break as Jhye Richardson (1-29) celebrated his first scalp of the Test by dismissing Dhananjaya (6), while part-time spinner Marnus Labuschagne (1-6) took the wicket of Kusal Mendis (42).

Cummins removed Chamika Karunaratne (22) the following over and he struck again as Dilruwan Perera (4) said goodbye, before Starc tore through Vishwa Fernando (0) to close out the resounding win.

Sri Lanka batsman Kusal Perera has been cleared of any injuries but will have his fitness for the remainder of the second Test against Australia assessed on Monday.

Kusal made 29 before retiring hurt after copping a fierce Jhye Richardson delivery to the helmet in the first session on day three.

Sri Lanka were skittled all out for 215 and Australia declared on 196-3 to set the tourists a huge target of 516 for victory, with Dinesh Chandimal's side successfully negotiating six overs in Sunday's final session.

Whether Kusal will be able to assist in their attempt to eat into a 499-run deficit on day four is yet to be determined.

A Sri Lanka statement read: "Kusal Janith, who left the field after a ball hit his helmet while he was batting during the first innings, is cleared of any injuries.

"His participation in the rest of the game will depend following an assessment, which will be done tomorrow [Monday] morning."

Usman Khawaja admits off-field problems were affecting his performances after he made an emphatic return to form on day three of Australia's second Test against Sri Lanka.

The top-order batsman made 101 not out in Australia's second innings total of 196-3 declared, with Sri Lanka still trailing by 499 runs at the close of play.

It was Khawaja's first three-figure score since a magnificent 141 against Pakistan last October, with a knee injury before the recent India series hampering his rhythm and he only went beyond fifty once in the four-match contest.

Away from the pitch, Khawaja's brother Arsalan was arrested and charged over allegations he framed a co-worker in a fake terrorism plot.

And Khawaja, who made a duck in the first innings in Canberra, opened up on his struggle.

"Being around, getting lots of starts during the summer was tough, I've had a tough summer, I've had a lot of stuff going on off the field, which has made things a lot tougher," he said.

"It's just been really nice to have my wife Rachel with me for the majority of the tours and she's been awesome, just to have her around and to go and travel with me, she's been my rock throughout the whole thing. 

"It's been tough, it's something you don't expect to happen. My family's very close to me and I'm very close to my family, so at some level I think it made it tougher to go out and concentrate and execute my skills.

"At the same time while I was playing cricket you sort of forget about everything because you're only concentrating on cricket.

"But it was very taxing, it has been very taxing mentally, and that's why Rachel has been great, being around and trying to take my mind off things. [I'm] Feeling a lot better now than I was probably a month or two ago, but it's been a tough couple of months off the field."

Sri Lanka, already trailing 1-0 in the two-Test series, need to bat out two days to salvage a result.

Their cause was not helped by Kusal Perera retiring hurt on 29 in their first-innings total of 215 – in which Mitchell Starc took 5-54 – after being struck on the helmet by a Jhye Richardson bouncer.

Dimuth Karunaratne, who himself had retired hurt after taking a short ball from Starc on the neck on day two, returned having received clearance from Sri Lanka medical staff.

Fast-bowling coach Rumesh Ratnayake, who expects Kusal to bat in the fourth innings, said it was strange to see several incidents in one match, with Kusal having already been struck by Richardson and Dhananjaya de Silva taking a ball to the helmet from a Pat Cummins delivery.

"When it hits the head it's certainly a huge concern for us but this match was a lot on the head, wasn't it?" He said. 

"I mean I've seen bowlers hit batsmen on fast tracks also and certainly if there isn't much pace the ducking process becomes different and the inconsistencies of a pitch – I'm not saying this pitch is inconsistent at all – it's just sometimes you tend to duck for a ball that you shouldn't be ducking. 

"And that we saw in Kusal's thing, he ducked into a ball which was not as ferocious as the ball to Karunaratne."

Joe Root implored his England team-mates to take individual responsibility for their abysmal second-Test showing against West Indies.

The Windies claimed the series by moving 2-0 up with just one game to play after a 10-wicket battering of Root's men inside three days on Saturday.

Having made just 187 in the first innings, England collapsed from 35-0 to 132 all out in the second and captain Root acknowledged the experienced players in the team fell significantly short in Antigua.

"Scoring under 200 in both innings isn't going to win you many games of cricket, so we've got to go away, learn from it and come back stronger for it," Root said.

"We just haven't scored enough runs. When experienced players aren't making scores over 50 it makes it very difficult for the rest of the guys around them.

"I think we have got to be better at what we do, or maybe do things slightly differently. The choice comes down to the individual. I can't bat for 11 guys, neither can [head coach] Trevor [Bayliss] or [batting coach] Ramps [Mark Ramprakash].

"There were a couple of disappointing dismissals that guys will have to look at individually, so we go about things maybe slightly differently in future.

"The responsibility is down to the individual, but we will stick together and work on it as a group and try and come back with a really strong response in the next Test."

Bayliss lamented the poor showing with the bat, while praising the Windies' bowling performance, but is confident England can play themselves into form ahead of a home Ashes series with Australia this year.

"It was very poor - the batting followed on from the first game and we just didn't bat very well at all," said Bayliss, who saw England hammered by 381 runs in the first Test.

"It was a difficult wicket to bat on, but we have to find a way and we haven't done that in these two Tests and they did bowl extremely well.

"In Sri Lanka, the bounce of the ball went our way. In this series, it hasn't gone our way, but we have to be better than that.

"There's a lot of cricket to be played between now and the Ashes."

Mitchell Starc and Usman Khawaja found form as Australia closed in on victory over Sri Lanka in the second Test in Canberra on Sunday.

Starc (5-54) and Khawaja (101 not out) starred for the hosts, who enjoyed a dominant third day at Manuka Oval.

With the help of Starc, Australia bowled Sri Lanka out for 215 – earning a 319-run first-innings lead – before reaching 196-3 and declaring, setting the tourists 516 for victory.

Bad light saw play stopped as Sri Lanka's openers survived, getting to 17-0 and needing another 499 runs to win.

Sri Lanka resumed at 123-3 and Starc quickly ripped through the lower order to give Australia complete control of the Test.

It was short-pitched bowling that caused the tourists trouble early, with Kusal Perera (29) retiring hurt after being hit in the head by Jhye Richardson (0-49).

Perera was replaced by Dimuth Karunaratne, who had been taken to hospital after being hit by a bouncer on Saturday.

A short delivery led to the departure of Dhananjaya de Silva, who hit his wicket after attempting to pull a ball from Starc on 25.

Dimuth Karunaratne (59) chased a wide one from Starc and was caught by Kurtis Patterson before Nathan Lyon (2-70) removed Chamika Karunaratne for a duck.

The tail fell quickly as Starc grabbed the final two wickets for his 10th Test five-for and first since March 2018.

There were again some top-order worries for Australia, who slumped to 37-3 as Marcus Harris (14), Joe Burns (9) and Marnus Labuschagne (4) departed.

But Khawaja played a fine innings after a slow start and was joined by Travis Head (59 not out) for an unbroken 159-run partnership.

Under some pressure and having dropped a simple catch earlier in the day, Khawaja delivered a much-needed century – his first since October and eighth in Tests.

Tim Paine waited for Khawaja to reach the milestone before declaring, setting Sri Lanka 516 for victory.

Australia were unable to find the breakthrough they wanted in six overs before play was ended early due to bad light with Dimuth Karunaratne (8) and Lahiru Thirimanne (8) unbeaten.

Jason Holder said West Indies were determined to seal a Test series win over England for Alzarri Joseph's mother, who died before play got under way on Saturday. 

Kemar Roach and Jason Holder took four wickets apiece as the magnificent West Indies tore through brittle England yet again to seal a crushing, series-clinching 10-wicket victory on day three in Antigua. 

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