By Amlan Chakraborty
New Delhi: Angelo Mathews blasted Bangladesh for the appeal that made him the first batter to be timed out in international cricket during the World Cup on Monday.
Mathews wasn’t ready to face his first ball within two minutes as per tournament rules. His helmet strap broke and more than three minutes elapsed before he received a replacement helmet.
Bangladesh and captain Shakib Al Hasan appealed for the Sri Lanka veteran to be timed out and the on-field umpires Marais Erasmus and Richard Illingworth agreed.
Mathews was livid as he walked off the field. Sri Lanka went on to lose by three wickets and be eliminated from semi-final contention.
“I don’t know where the common sense went because it’s obviously disgraceful from Shakib and Bangladesh,” Mathews said.
“If they want to play cricket like that, obviously stooped out to that level, I think there’s something wrong drastically.
Sri Lanka’s Angelo Mathews, right, talks to umpires after he was declared timed out during the World Cup match between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.Credit: AP
“I’m not talking about, mankading or obstructing the field here. It’s just pure common sense and bringing the game into disrepute. It’s absolutely disgraceful.”
Mathews claimed the umpires later told the Sri Lanka coaches they didn’t see the strap coming off the helmet just when he was about to face his first delivery against Shakib.
World Cup rules state a batter has “to be ready to receive the next ball within two minutes of the (previous) dismissal or retirement.”
Mathews, at first didn’t believe he was timed out, and argued with the umpires while pointing toward the broken helmet strap. He also had words with Shakib, who didn’t withdraw his appeal. When he crossed the boundary, he threw his helmet and bat in anger.
The Marylebone Cricket Club website explains cricket’s time-out rule.Credit: lords.org
Shakib said Mathews asked him if he would withdraw the appeal.
“I said, you know, ‘I understand your situation.’ It was unfortunate, but I don’t want to,” Shakib said.
Before Bangladesh chased down the 280 target for the loss of seven wickets, Sri Lanka players including captain Kusal Mendis exchanged tense words on the field with the Bangladesh batters. Mathews defended his teammates’ decision not to shake hands with the Bangladesh players after the tense game.
“You need to respect people who respect us,” Mathews said. “I mean, we all are ambassadors of this beautiful game, including the umpires. So, then, if you don’t respect and if you don’t use your common sense what more can you ask for?”
‘How can I take my guard without my helmet? It’s a complete equipment malfunction.’
Mathews said the Sri Lanka management had video evidence to support his claim he was at the crease within two minutes and he still had five seconds before the strap of his helmet came off.
“Everything was looked (at),” he said. “I’m not just coming in and saying things here, I’m talking with proof.”
Mathews argued the necessity of wearing a helmet to face spinners, saying a wicketkeeper was not allowed to stand behind the wickets without a helmet for spin, either.
“How can I take my guard without my helmet? It’s a complete equipment malfunction,” he said.
Fourth umpire Adrian Holdstock said during the innings break that Mathews wasn’t ready to receive the ball within two minutes, even before the strap broke.
“If you ask the question from him now,” Mathews said. “He would have a different answer because we have video evidence.”
Holdstock also said a batter has to make sure all of his equipment was in place so he can face his first ball within two minutes.
“It’s quite laughable,” Mathews said.
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