Colombo: Cricket’s “timed out” controversy split the game on Tuesday as Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan headed for home nursing a broken finger and battered reputation.
Shakib was branded “disgraceful” by Sri Lanka batsman Angelo Mathews after he became the first player in the 146-year history of international cricket to be given timed out.
Mathews had exceeded the two minutes allowed for a batsman to take strike as he attempted to secure the strapping on his helmet.
Shakib, who on Tuesday was ruled out of the rest of the tournament with a broken finger, refused to withdraw the appeal, explaining: “I had to take a decision to make sure that my team wins and whatever I had to do, I have to do it”.
“I think Shakib will also be asked the question of whether a batsman like Mathews needed to be dismissed like this at that time,” Bangladesh’s former ODI captain Gazi Ashraf Hossain wrote in Dhaka’s Prothom Alo daily on Tuesday.
However, India’s veteran commentator Harsha Bhogle said the issue was not about cricket’s rules.
“Let us leave the spirit of cricket out of this,” Bhogle wrote on X.
‘There are laws’
“It is a weak argument often used by those that are ignorant or at the wrong end of a mistake. There are laws and you play within them.”
“Beyond that, how to play the game is an individual choice. Mathews and Sri Lankan fans can be disappointed and angry but, as per the laws of the game, he was out.”
Ex-Bangladesh captain, turned match referee, Raqibul Hassan backed Shakib.
“Shakib made an appeal and the umpires gave their decision — as long as it is within the laws, I don’t see any problem,” Hassan told AFP.
But former Bangladesh opener Javed Omar criticised Shakib for not withdrawing his appeal.
“The rule was set so that no one could take any unfair advantage,” said Javed, who played 40 Tests and 59 one-day internationals for Bangladesh.
“Mathews was not taking any advantage here. Shakib should have avoided this controversy.”
Many on social media reminded Mathews how he led his team during the controversial “Mankad” run-out of England’s Jos Buttler in 2014 — where a bowler runs out the non-striker in their delivery stride if the batsman is out of his crease.
‘Bunch of two-year-olds’
Mathews defended his actions at the time, saying it had been taken “after two warnings”, adding that “even after the warnings it kept happening and clearly they were taking advantage.”
But Bangladeshi cricket journalist Manjur Morshed from Jamuna TV, pointing to the 2014 “Mankading” incident, as well as Sri Lanka’s refusal to shake hands after Tuesday’s match, said a sense of fair play was missing.
“Mathews is not the right person to give a lecture on sporting spirit,” he said.
Chasing 280 for victory, Bangladesh rode on a 169-run stand between Najmul Hasan Shanto (90) and Shakib (82) to reach their target with three wickets and 53 balls to spare on Tuesday.
Ironically, Shakib was dismissed by Mathews who marked the breakthrough by pointing at an imaginary wristwatch on his arm.
Sri Lankan social media users were critical of Bangladesh players, but they also faulted their own team for not shaking hands with their opponents after losing.
One fan, Kokila de Silva wrote on X: “What a shameful bunch of two-year-olds.”