Sri Lanka's Angelo Mathews calls Bangladesh 'disgraceful' after controversial dismissal

World Cup clash marred by first 'timed out' wicket and air pollution in New Delhi

Fans watch Cricket World Cup match amid New Delhi smog

Fans watch Cricket World Cup match amid New Delhi smog
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Sri Lanka’s Angelo Mathews branded opponents Bangladesh "disgraceful" for the appeal that led to him becoming the first player to be timed out in 146 years of international cricket during their World Cup clash in New Delhi.

Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan appealed to the umpire for the batter’s wicket as Mathews, who had called for a replacement helmet after appearing to notice his strap was broken, was not ready to face his first ball within the two minutes required by the competition rules.

Bangladesh went on to record a three-wicket win and Mathews said at a post-match press conference: “It is obviously disgraceful from Shakib and Bangladesh.

“If they want to play cricket like that and stoop down to that level, there’s something wrong, drastically. Up to today I had the utmost respect for him and the Bangladesh team.”

Chasing 280 for victory, Bangladesh rode on a 169-run stand between Najmul Hasan Shanto (90) and skipper Shakib Al Hasan (82) to reach their target with three wickets and 53 balls to spare.

The match had been given the green light despite smog-choked New Delhi being ranked as the planet's most polluted major city.

The result sealed Sri Lanka's exit from the semi-final race but Mathews' dismissal overshadowed the game. The dismissal contributed to a tense atmosphere.

Shanto and Sri Lanka's Sadeera Samarawickrama were involved in a verbal exchange and had to be separated by the umpires.

Later, Sri Lankan players surrounded the umpires demanding a ball change as the game got away from them.

Mathews had come into bat after the fall of Samarawickrama in the 25th over but was unable to secure his helmet strap tightly enough, an action which delayed the resumption of play. As a result, Shakib appealed for the wicket.

On-field umpires Marais Erasmus and Richard Illingworth talked to both teams before the decision was upheld.

The 36-year-old Mathews reluctantly trudged off with most spectators appearing bemused by the decision.

Shakib was later voted man of the match.

"I appealed and the umpire asked me if I was serious, whether I would take it back or not. I said no. If it is in the rules then it is out and that is exactly what happened," said Shakib.

"It's in the laws. I don't know if it's right or wrong. I had to make sure my team wins so whatever I needed to do I had to do it."

Sri Lanka skipper Kusal Mendis said the umpires should have used "common sense".

"When Angelo came to the crease there were like five seconds left for him to be ready and he found out that his helmet strap came out," said Mendis.

"It was an equipment failure so I'm disappointed that the umpires couldn't react there and apply common sense."

Shakib's decision to appeal for the wicket caused widespread dismay.

"Mathews' dismissal was not good for the spirit of cricket," said Sri Lanka century-maker Charith Asalanka.

Former South African fast bowler Dale Steyn writing on X, formerly Twitter, said: "Well, that wasn't cool".

Ex-India batsman Gautam Gambhir described the episode as "absolutely pathetic".

According to laws of cricket, after the fall of a wicket or the retirement of a batsman, the incoming player must be ready to receive the ball within two minutes.

The Association of Cricket Statisticians and Historians said there have been six instances of "timed out" in first-class cricket.

"There have been no instances recorded in List A or Twenty20 cricket until Mathews," they wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

The vastly-experienced Mathews was playing in his 225th one-day international on Monday in a career which has yielded 5,900 runs.

He has also played 106 Tests and 78 Twenty20 internationals.

When Bangladesh batted, Mathews took on Shakib with the ball and got the left-hander to play a loose shot into the air only for Asalanka, who hit 108 in Sri Lanka's 279 all out, to drop the catch.

Shakib and Shanto took on the bowlers in a 169-run third-wicket partnership before Mathews broke through with his medium-pace and sent back Shakib.

He pointed to his wrist as a send-off. Mathews also dismissed Shanto to trigger a collapse as Bangladesh lost three more wickets before they reached their target.

Earlier the left-handed Asalanka hit his second ODI ton to rebuild the Sri Lanka innings after they had slipped to 135-5 following the exit of Mathews.

Updated: November 06, 2023, 8:43 PM