6 November – Delhi – Sri Lanka player Angelo Mathews post-match press conference
Well, how did you feel when you were given out at that point of time and had you done it differently if you were there at the other end?
Yeah, because I haven’t done anything wrong. I have two minutes to get to the crease and get myself ready, which I did. And then it was an equipment malfunction. And I don’t know where the common sense went, because obviously it’s obviously disgraceful from Shakib and Bangladesh if they want to play cricket like that obviously stooped down to that level I think there’s something wrong drastically because – if I got late if I got past my two minutes to get to the crease and in the law says you have to be ready within the two minutes and I was there two minutes 45 or 50 seconds – I still had after my helmet broke off, I still had five more seconds to go. And the umpires also have said to our coaches that they didn’t see my helmet breaking. I mean, I was just asking for my helmet.
So, it was just pure common sense. I’m not talking about mankading or obstructing the field here. This is just pure common sense and bringing the game into disrepute. It is absolutely disgraceful.
You spoke about the Bangladesh players’ behaviour being absolutely not on. What about the behaviour of your own players, refusing to shake hands with the opposition?
Yeah, you need to respect people who respect us. It doesn’t mean that – they have to respect the game itself. I mean, we all are ambassadors of this beautiful game, including the umpires. So then, if you don’t respect and if you don’t use your common sense, what more can you ask for?
So earlier in the press conference, Shaqib said that both of you guys have a long history. You’ve been playing from a 19-age, and both of you know each other. And he was talking, and he didn’t have any regrets. Any thoughts of that?
Yeah, so I mean, see, up to today, I had utmost respect to him and Bangladesh team. Obviously, you all play to win. And if it’s within the rule, it’s fine. But the rule clearly says, in my incident today, within two minutes I was there. We have video evidence. We will put out a statement later on. We have video evidence, footage, everything was looked. I’m not just coming and saying things here. I’m talking with proof.
So, we have the video evidence where from the time the catch was taken, and then from the time I walked into the crease, I still had five seconds after breaking my helmet. So, we talk about safety of the players – you guys tell me if It’s right for me to take my guard without my helmet on? It’s just pure common sense.
That’s why I think the umpires also had a bigger job at the time, because they could have at least gone back and checked. So, we talk about player safety. And a wicket keeper for the spinner is not – they don’t let him keep without his helmet. So how can I take my guard without my helmet? It’s complete equipment malfunction.
You talked about umpires role here – do you think the dismissals of obstructing the field and the one that you had today are too ambiguous. They need to have more clear object criteria there to be defined as a dismissal. Because they can argue that you were not ready to face the ball because you had a malfunction. So that’s technicality comes here. Do you think these are very ambiguous rules and they need to be revisited?
No, I think in terms of Mankading and, say, obstructing the field, the rules are quite clear. I mean, because the rule clearly says that if you’re out of your crease, the bowler can break the stumps. So, if you’re in line of the stumps and if you’re obstructing the ball being hit to the stumps, then it clearly says you’re out.
But here, where is the common sense?
Here, I think in my 15 years of career, I’ve never seen a team going down to that level because obviously the umpires also admitted that it’s equipment malfunction, and they could have gone upstairs and checked again.
Yeah, I mean, what’s the point not checking at that time and then saying it afterwards? Because I’m not saying if I was there, we could have won the match. It’s a different story. But still, you need to have your common sense in terms of using technology. And also, it was clearly a malfunction. I mean, it just came off. You know, I didn’t mean to pull it and break it.
I still had my time as well and I was in complete shock.
Ultimately the decision was given by the umpire. So, do you think it was the wrong decision by them actually? Do you think the momentum has changed after that incident?
In my opinion, yes. Because if I haven’t done anything wrong, whose fault is it?
Well, as I said, it’s a technicality which needs to be discussed because it’s a World Cup game and what happens if this happens in the last over when you have three or four runs to get in the last wicket. I mean, it’s just pure common sense.
I wasn’t trying to waste time. I wasn’t trying to get advantage of anything. It was just pure equipment malfunction. And it just happened for the very first time in my career. And I’m absolutely shocked.
I’m not going to say that if I had batted today, we would have won the match. I’m not saying that. I mean, I’m just talking about that incident where, obviously, it was a crucial time of the match. And we could have gone either way. I mean, we could have got 54, 60 runs more as well. You never know. But it was just pure disgraceful.
We have seen in this press conference that you are talking about that in your career in 15 years, you haven’t seen this kind of attitude by a team that happened today. So, do you think that in your career in last 15 years, you haven’t seen it doesn’t mean that no team can complain or appeal like this kind of out. Because that final decision given by the umpire and in ICC media Also the fourth umpire clear about this out that you are out. So, you are saying that Shakib and Bangladesh team were disrespectful towards you. Do you think that umpires also disrespectful towards you because they’ve up their finger and that’s why you got out?
It’s not about umpires being disrespectful. They could have checked.
Yes, I think, unfortunately, it happened against Bangladesh. I don’t think any other team would do that because it was black and white. It was equipment, the helmet coming off and it was a safety issue as well, because we know that without a helmet, I cannot face a bowler. And it was just there to be seen. It was not about anyone being disrespectful.
Yes, Shakib had the option of – he knew that this was not time-wasting or I was there within my time. And he had the choice of, but he decided to go the other way. And my personal opinion is, if it was any other team, they wouldn’t have done it.
The fourth umpire said that the equipment that batters or suggested that the equipment that batters use is kind of their own responsibility. What’s your response to that?
All of you guys heard, yeah? It’s quite laughable, I think. It’s our responsibility, yes. If I went without a helmet to bat to a fast bowler, then it’s my responsibility, obviously. But something coming off, some equipment coming off, do you really think I would know it’s going to come off? I don’t understand the logic behind what he has said.
A follow up to the same question, the fourth umpire actually during the innings break said that the batter wasn’t ready to receive the ball within those two minutes, even before the strap became an issue for him. The two minutes had already elapsed. Do you think you came late, slightly late to the crease or your thoughts on that?
If you ask the question from now, he would have a different answer. Because we have evidence, video evidence. As I said, I’m not just saying what I’m just saying. I have the video evidence and if anybody wants to contest it, I urge them to.
What do you think about your out? The law dictates that amperes rule out when you are out. Could you please elaborate on the things you discussed with them during that time, and provide a brief summary of the incident once more?
I deeply regret the conduct of the Bangladesh team during that incident. Mankading or creating obstacles on the field is not a problem. I quickly returned to the crease within two minutes, and it was there that my helmet came off. The umpires and judges had a clear view of this situation. Even after the helmet came off, I had five seconds even after breaking the helmet. I displayed my helmet, but later, the umpires claimed that the opposing side had appealed. I questioned the common sense of this decision since the two minutes allotted to me had not yet elapsed. I have video evidence to support this claim. Now, the umpires have informed the coaches that they should have reviewed the situation in that manner. It’s pointless to take action after the fact; it should have been addressed in real time, considering the available technology. Umpires could have easily determined the timing difference at that moment. I’m at a loss for words regarding this situation. In my 15 years of experience, I’ve never witnessed a team and player being put in such a lowly position.