Sri Lanka batsman Angelo Mathews has demanded “justice” from the ICC and branded Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan a “cheat” on social media after becoming the first player to be ‘timed out’ in the international cricket at the World Cup.
Mathews had already made his feelings clear at the media conference following the defeat that ended Sri Lanka’s hopes of progressing at the World Cup, saying Shakib’s appeal for the controversial dismissal was “disgraceful”.
The 36-year-old flouted the World Cup rule that a new batsman must be ready to take a delivery within two minutes of a wicket falling.
Mathews said in a post on X, formally known as Twitter, that he had seconds to spare before the chin strap on his helmet broke trying to get a new one out, backing up his stance with time-stamped video screenshots.
Proof! From the time the catch was taken and the time helmet strap was coming out pic.twitter.com/2I5ebIqkGZ
— Angelo Mathews (@Angelo69Mathews) November 6, 2023
“Video evidence shows that I was still five seconds away even after the helmet was given away!” He wrote. “Can the fourth umpire please correct this? I mean safety is paramount because I couldn’t face the bowler without a helmet.
“This is clear cheating, I want justice,” he said in another post.
That was in direct conflict with the fourth umpire Adrian Holdstock.
“In the evening incident, the batsman was not ready to get the ball within those two minutes even before the strap became a problem for him,” he said in an on-field interview after the match at Arun Jaitley Stadium.
“As a batsman, I think you have to make sure that all your equipment is in place … because you have to be ready to get the ball within two minutes, not be ready to prepare or take your guard .”
‘spirit of cricket’
There was plenty of support for Mathews, with former South African bowler Dale Steyn saying the incident was “not cool”, Australia’s Usman Khawaja saying it was “strange”, and former India captain Gautam Gambhir saying that he was “patient”.
“I didn’t enjoy what I saw out there,” Pakistan all-rounder Waqar Younis said in a telecast.
“That was not good for the spirit of cricket. I’m old school and I think there was a lot of drama to get Angelo Mathews.”
Former India cricketer Mohammad Kaif was among those who blamed Shakib for appealing the dismissal and not reconsidering even after the on-field umpires asked him if he wanted to continue.
“Shakib should believe in winning, but not ‘winning at all’. That was disgraceful,” he posted on X.
Shakib defended his decision in his post-match press conference, saying his actions were within the rules and he had no regrets.
He was backed up by former England captain Michael Vaughan, who said in his experience that the “spirit of the game” which was far too sad in the breach was always more honoured.
“Yes, Shakib is going to get a lot of people, especially on social media, saying he broke the spirit of the game, it’s a shame,” he said Cricbuzz.
“It is well within his rights, it is the laws of the game. It is very stupid to talk about the spirit of the game, the referee is right.”
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