HELMET PLAYER SAFETY DID NOT HOLD FORTH FROM PHIL HUGHES TRAGEDY
By Srian Obeyesekere
Sri Lankan veteran Angelo Mathews slammed Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan’s decision to have him timed out in their World Cup match labelling it as “disgraceful” after the former skipper became the first player in 146 years of international cricket given out that way.
Mathews, who had come to the crease at the fall of the fourth wicket was ready to face up before he realised the chin strap on his helmet was broken, forcing him to step away and ask for a replacement.
MCC laws stipulate a batter has three minutes to face his or her first delivery, but the ICC rules at the World Cup are 60 seconds shorter.
Despite player safety long echoed in cricket where a negligent helmet cost the life of Australian cricketer Philip Hughes hit on the back of the neck , it didn’t deter Shakib from appealing, with umpire Marais Erasmus left with no choice but to ruling Mathews out after checking with the Bangladeshi all-rounder if he wanted to go through with it.
A livid Mathews did argue with the umpires before walking out and went to to say, “It was obviously disgraceful from Shakib and Bangladesh,” said Mathews, who got some revenge when he dismissed his rival in the second innings.
“If they want to take wickets like that and stoop down to that level, there’s something wrong, drastically.
“It’s very disappointing the 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 had not 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 equipment malfunction. It was a safety issue as well. We know that without a helmet I can’t face the bowling.”
Fourth umpire Adrian Holdstock said the correct call was made given Mathews’ allotted time had expired, but the Sri Lankan veteran was adamant that was not the case.
“Up to today, I had utmost respect for him and the Bangladesh team,” Mathews said, garnering plenty of support on social media.
“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 controversial call proved telling as Shakib took two wickets to help bowl Sri Lanka out for 279, with the skipper then smashing 82 in the chase to help his side get home by three wickets in a man-of-the-match performance.
Bangladesh skipper Al Hasan reportedly reacted saying, “One of our fielders came to me and said that if you appeal now, he’ll be out,” Shakib explained when asked to give his side of the story.
“I appealed and the umpire asked if I was serious and if I was going to take it back or not.
“I said ‘no’.
“If it’s in the rules and it’s out then I won’t take it back.
“It’s in the laws. I don’t know if it’s right or wrong, but I feel like I was in a war so I had to take a decision to make sure my team wins. Whatever I had to do, I had to do it.”