Timed out controversy: Bangladesh coach calls for rule change

Sri Lanka's Angelo Mathews became the first player in the 146-year history of major international cricket to be timed out following an appeal by Bangladesh's Shakib Al Hasan

By AFP

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Bangladesh coach Chandika Hathurusingha. — PTI file
Bangladesh coach Chandika Hathurusingha. — PTI file

Published: Fri 10 Nov 2023, 10:30 PM

Last updated: Fri 10 Nov 2023, 10:31 PM

Bangladesh coach Chandika Hathurusingha called for a change to cricket's timed-out law, saying it should be a matter for the umpires only, as debate rumbled on about Shakib Al Hasan's role in a controversial dismissal of Sri Lanka's Angelo Mathews.

Bangladesh defeated Sri Lanka by three wickets in a World Cup group-stage game in Delhi on Monday.

However, the result was overshadowed by Mathews becoming the first player in the 146-year history of major international cricket to be timed out following an appeal by Shakib, which the Tigers captain refused to withdraw.

Mathews was given out after he exceeded the two minutes allowed for an incoming batsman to take strike as he attempted to secure a broken strap on his helmet.

Bangladesh bowling coach Allan Donald, who is to quit his post when his contract expires after the World Cup, was unhappy with the dismissal, telling the CricBlog website: "I think it really overshadowed a clinical performance by Bangladesh. I'm sort of a bit still shocked about it to be honest.

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"It's just my values that I have as a person and as a cricketer," the 57-year-old former South Africa fast bowler added.

But Hathurusingha said Friday: "I don't think it (the row) is going to stop here, whatever I say. The only thing I can say is that it's one of the modes of dismissal.

"My suggestion is to leave it to the umpires to decide, I don't think you should leave it to the players to appeal and all that."

Victory over Sri Lanka came too late to salvage Bangladesh's hopes of a semifinal place, with the team having lost six of their eight group games ahead of Saturday's clash in Pune against Australia, already into the last four.

And they will have to face the five-time champions without Shakib, appearing in his fifth World Cup, after he broke his finger batting against Sri Lanka.

The spin-bowling all-rounder may now have played the last World Cup match of his career given he will be 40 by the time of the 2027 edition in southern Africa.

"We have been spoilt," Hathurusungha said. "We have had him for a long time, when you have someone of Shakib's calibre as your number one all-rounder, it's two players in one...It's hard (to replace him in the side)."

Saturday's match could also mark a World Cup exit for fellow veterans Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah, with Hathurusingha saying of the trio: "They have been the best of Bangladesh cricket in the short journey of Bangladesh cricket.

"If they decided to quit, it's a change (passing) of the baton kind of thing."

Bangladesh are currently eighth in the table, the last qualifying place for the 2025 Champions Trophy in Pakistan.

But Hathurusingha said his sole focus was on trying to beat Australia.

The former champions won their sixth game in a row at the tournament in Mumbai on Tuesday after Glenn Maxwell's spectacular unbeaten double century saw them to a dramatic three-wicket win over Afghanistan after they had collapsed to 91-7.

"They're the most successful team in World Cup history," said Hathurusingha.

"They started slowly but they have already qualified. Playing against them is a big challenge."

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