When Angelo Mathews arrived at the press conference as Sri Lanka’s representative, it was clear that something explosive was about to happen. That’s it. Sri Lanka’s experienced all-rounder threw one ball at Shakib Al Hasan, the Bangladesh team and the umpires. In his 12-minute press conference, there was no mention of the match, only the subject of his ‘timed out’.
Here is a summary of Matthews’ remarks at the press conference.
The feeling after being out like that…
Angelo Mathews: I didn’t do anything wrong. There are two minutes to get ready at the crease, which I did. It was an ‘equipment malfunction.’ I don’t know where the ‘common sense’ thing went. Because, it is definitely disrespectful to Shakib and Bangladesh. If they want to play cricket like this and get down to this level, something is terribly wrong.
If I was late and didn’t go in two minutes… the law says to go in two minutes, I got there in two (one) minutes 45 or 50 seconds. Then I had a problem with my helmet. I still had 5 seconds left. The umpires also told our coaches that they did not notice the problem with the helmet. I just wanted a helmet!
It is all about ‘common sense’. I’m not talking about mankading or obstructing the field. This is pure common sense and a disrespect to the game. It is completely disrespectful.
Questioning the behavior of Bangladeshi cricketers, you did not shake hands after the game…
Mathews: We have to respect those who respect us. They have to respect the game first! We are all ambassadors of this beautiful game, including the umpires. In that case, if you don’t respect and don’t use common sense, then what else can you ask for!
Shakib was saying in the press conference that his relationship with you since U-19, know each other well…
Mathews: See, till today I had the utmost respect for him and the Bangladesh team. Of course everyone plays to win and if something is within the law then of course that is fine. But in my case, I was there (at the crease) within two minutes! We have video proof. We will make a statement later. We have video evidence, footage, seen everything. It’s not like I’m just coming and saying something. I am talking about evidence.
We have video evidence that after the catch (by the previous batsman) and after I went to the crease, it was five seconds before my helmet came off. We also talk about the safety of cricketers. Tell me, was it right to take the guard without wearing a helmet? It is a matter of pure common sense.
That’s why I think the umpires had a bigger role. Because, they could at least go and check. There is a security issue for the cricketers. Keepers are asked to wear helmets while bowling to spinners. How do I take the guard without a helmet? It is purely an equipment malfunction.
Obstructing no field or whether such laws need more transparency…
Mathews: The laws of Mankading and Obstructing the Field are very clear. The law clearly states that you can get out if the batsman is out of the crease. If Up is directly on the line of the stumps preventing the ball from hitting the stumps, it is clear out.
But where is the common sense here?
In my career of 15 years, I have never seen a team get down to this level. The umpires also admitted it was an ‘equipment malfunction.’ They could check again. What’s the point of not testing then?
Not saying we would have won if I had. It’s a different matter. But there should be common sense to use technology. It was a clear ‘malfunction’. I did not pull and tear! I still had time and (given out) I was stunned.
Is the responsibility of the umpires?
Mathews: In my opinion, ‘Yes.’ Because, if I’m not wrong, then whose fault?
The technical issue should be discussed, because it is a World Cup match and if it happens that three-four runs are needed in the last over, then what happens? It is just a matter of common sense.
I wasn’t trying to waste time. I did not want to take any unfair advantage. It was pure ‘equipment malfunction’. This is the first time in my career and I am shocked.
Not saying that if I had batted we would have won today. Just telling the story. Of course, it was the crucial moment of the match. Anything could have happened. Maybe we could have scored 54-60 runs more, who knows. But either way, it’s disrespectful.
The way you say it is disrespecting the umpires…
Mathews: No disrespect to the umpires. They could see.
Yes, unfortunately it happened against Bangladesh. I don’t think any other team would have done it. Because it is very clear. It was a matter of equipment, the tape was torn and it was also a matter of safety, because we know you can’t face a bowler without a helmet. It was seen, no disrespect to anyone.
Shakib had a chance (to withdraw the application)… He knew I was not wasting time or in time. He had his chance… but he chose another path. In my personal opinion, any other party would not have done this.
The fourth umpire said that it is the responsibility of the batsman to handle the equipment…
Mathews: You’ve all heard that, right? Very funny. Yes, of course it is our responsibility. But if I field a fast bowler without a helmet, then that is my responsibility. But if something falls, a part opens, do you think I have any way of knowing beforehand? I can’t find any logic behind what he said.
At the break of the innings the fourth umpire said that in two minutes you were not ready to play the ball…
Mathews: If asked the same question now, his answer would be different. Because we have proof. Video proof. As I said, I am not saying anything just for the sake of saying it. I have video evidence and if anyone wants to challenge it, I invite them to do so.