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Angelo Mathews Alleges Umpire Involvement In Controversial Timed Out Dismissal


Angelo Mathews Alleges Umpire Involvement In Controversial Timed Out Dismissal

Angelo Mathews held the most explosive press conference of his career where he tore apart Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan and the Bangladesh team. He called their actions ‘disgraceful’. Mathews said that he had never seen a team or a player stoop so low in his prolonged career of 15 years.

He added that if his helmet strap was broken against any other team then this situation would not have been entertained but since it broke against Bangladesh, it was unfortunate.

This scathing criticism from Angelo Mathews was in response to Shakib Al Hasan’s appeal which led to Angelo Mathews being ‘timed out’ and becoming the first player in ODI history to be timed out. Angelo Mathews was given timed out during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 match against Bangladesh, as he failed to take his guard within two minutes of the stipulated time. This meant that he was out without even playing a ball.

The ICC’s playing conditions law 40 suggests that the new batter must be ready to receive the ball within two minutes of a dismissal. Angelo Mathews’ helmet strap broke about one minute and 55 seconds after Samarawickrama’s catch was completed. Angelo Mathews hadn’t taken his guard yet and he was doing his final preparations to face Shakib.

“It was obviously disgraceful from Shakib and Bangladesh,” Mathews said. “If they want to take wickets like that and stoop down to that level, there’s something wrong, drastically.

“It’s a very disappointing way that Bangladesh played. If it was mankading or obstructing the field, there’s no issue. Within two minutes I was at the crease, and it was when I was at the crease that my helmet broke. The umpires saw this. I still had five seconds left. After I showed my helmet, the umpires said [Bangladesh] had appealed. So I asked where common sense was because my two minutes hadn’t passed.”

“I’ve got no words to explain it. In my 15 years of playing, I’ve never seen a team or a player stoop so low. Unfortunately [the strap breaking] happened against Bangladesh. I don’t think any other team would do that, because it was black and white. It was an equipment malfunction. It was a safety issue as well. We know that without a helmet I can’t face the bowling.”

When Shakib was questioned about this incident, he said that he had known Mathews from his under-19 days but he stressed the fact that ‘rules are rules’. Angelo Mathews said that his view of Shakib Al Hasan had changed in light of this ‘timed out’ controversy.

“Up to today, I had the utmost respect for him and the Bangladesh team,” Mathews said. “You all play to win. If it’s within the rules, it’s clearly fine. But in my incident today, within two minutes I was clearly there. We have video evidence and we’ll put out a statement later on – I’m not just coming and saying things here. I’m talking with proof. From the time the catch was taken to the time I walked into the crease I still had five seconds after breaking my helmet.”

The umpires asked Shakib Al Hasan to withdraw the appeal once Angelo Mathews explained the helmet situation to them. Shakib however, declined to withdraw the appeal and Angelo Mathews had to depart without facing a single ball.

“Yes, Shakib had the option of [withdrawing appeal]. He knew that this was not time-wasting and I was there within my time. I wasn’t trying to waste time or get an advantage.”

The Sri Lankan team refused to shake hands with the Bangladesh players after the match was over. Players from both teams exchanged tense words during the course of the match. Many players shook hands with the not-out batters of Bangladesh but they didn’t bother going to the Bangladesh dugout to shake hands with all the Bangladesh players.

You need to respect people who respect us,” Mathews said about the Sri Lankans not shaking hands with their opponents. “They have to respect the game itself. We all are ambassadors of this beautiful game, including the umpires. If you don’t respect and you don’t use your common sense, what more can you ask for?”

Angelo Mathews’ controversial wicket has raised a lot of questions about Shakib Al Hasan’s spirit of the game but he was abiding by the rules. While some might consider this unethical, it can’t be denied that the rules suggest that a batter needs to be on the crease taking his guard within two minutes of the previous dismissal.

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