Something strange happened on Monday afternoon. Something that hadn’t happened in international cricket before: a batter getting timed out.
Angelo Mathews failed to get ready to take strike within the stipulated time of two minutes after the fall of the fourth Sri Lankan wicket in the World Cup match against Bangladesh here on Monday. The veteran all-rounder had some issues with his helmet, which he got replaced, but the damage had been done.
Bangladesh won the match by three wickets. It was clear that no love was lost between the two sides; there were no handshakes.
Then the post-match press conferences seemed an extension of what happened on the field. Mathews was livid. Shakib was unapologetic.
“No regrets at all,” he said. “One of our fielders came to me and said, if you appeal, the law says he is out because he hasn’t taken his guard within the time frame. So then I appealed to the umpires; umpire told me whether you are going to call him back or not, if I said he is out, then you call him back, it doesn’t look good. I said I won’t call him back. We played the Under-19 together, World Cup. I know Angelo for a long, long time, since 2006. Yeah, unfortunate, but within the rules.”
Mathews said he had done nothing wrong. “I have two minutes to get to the crease and get myself ready, which I did,” he said. “And then it was an equipment malfunction. And I don’t know where the common sense went, because it’s obviously disgraceful from Shakib and Bangladesh; if they want to play cricket like that, stooping down to that level, I think there’s something wrong drastically…I still had five more seconds to go. And the umpires also have said to our coaches that they didn’t see my helmet breaking.”
Mathews added, “We have the video evidence where from the time the catch was taken, and then from the time I walked into the crease, I still had five seconds after breaking my helmet…I think the umpires also had a bigger job at the time, because they could have at least gone back and checked.
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