Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan has explained why he didn’t withdraw his appeal after Angelo Mathews was timed out. The all-rounder has admitted he made the decision to give his team the best chance of victory in Delhi.
It was arguably the most controversial moment of the Cricket World Cup so far. Mathews was given out timed out without facing a ball because he was not ready within two minutes of Sri Lanka losing a wicket.
Mathews walked to the crease after Sadeera Samarawickrama was dismissed by Shakib. The former Sri Lanka captain appeared ready to face a delivery before realising a strap on his helmet had broken.
He called for a replacement but in the meantime, Bangladesh appealed to the umpires that Mathews had taken too long. Conversations were held and the on-field officials told Mathews he was out.
The 36-year-old was clearly fuming after becoming the first player in international cricket history to be timed out. But Shakib has now explained why he first appealed and secondly didn’t withdraw it.
Shakib said: “Well one of our fielders came to me and said ‘If you appeal now, he will be out, if you are serious’. Then I appealed and the umpire asked me whether I am serious, whether I’m going to take it back or not.
“I said ‘no but if it’s in the rule and if it’s out…’ That’s exactly what happened.
“It’s in the laws, I don’t know if it’s right or wrong, but I feel like I was at a war so I had to take a decision to make sure that my team wins, and whatever I had to do I had to do it. Right or wrong, there will be debates, but if it’s in the rules I don’t mind taking those chances.”
Sri Lanka posted 279, a score Bangladesh chased down with almost nine overs remaining. Shakib hit 82 before Mathews, coincidentally, had him caught.
Shakib said the incident added fuel to his fire. He said: “Yeah I thought that help, a bit more fight. I’m 36, normally the fight doesn’t come all the time but today that helped in a way, I won’t deny that.”
Sri Lanka skipper Kusal Mendis was disappointed that the umpires weren’t allowed to intervene when it became clear Mathews’ helmet was broken. Mendis said: “When Mathews came to the crease, there were five seconds left. When he came out, he found out about the strap of the helmet.
“It was disappointing. We expected him to score runs for us; it’s disappointing that the umpires couldn’t step in and make good decisions.”