The on-field umpires who declared Angelo Mathews timed out on Monday, according to Mathews, acknowledged to the Sri Lankan coaching staff that they had made a mistake by failing to verify the amount of time that had passed between Mathews’ helmet strap breaking and his prior expulsion. Mathews seems to have learned about this admission from a rumor.
In his news conference following the game, Mathews stated, “The umpires [Marais Erasmus and Richard Illingworth] also admitted that it was an equipment malfunction and they could have gone upstairs and checked.” Speaking to media following the match, Sri Lankan coach Chris Silverwood added that the team’s coaching staff had discussed the ejection with match officials and that talks between the two parties continued.
In any case, Mathews was defining the boundary between what qualified as a legitimate “timed out” dismissal and time that was taken out of the game to replace malfunctioning equipment.
The current playing circumstances, however, merely require that the replacement hitter be prepared to receive the ball within two minutes of the previous dismissal, which, by a strict interpretation of the regulation, Mathews was not. They also do not allow for equipment malfunction.
But umpires often let equipment changes mid-over if necessary, especially for bats and helmets. There probably wouldn’t have been any problems with Mathews calling for a substitute and taking his time to select one if the strap had broken one ball into his innings, for example.
“We talk about safety of the players, and you guys tell me if it’s right for me to take my guard without my helmet on,” Mathews stated. “At the time, the umpires had the opportunity to have performed better by going back and checking in that particular area. A spinner’s wicketkeeper is someone they don’t allow go without a helmet. So without my helmet, how can I assume my guard? It is entirely a malfunction of the device.
“You must use common sense when utilizing technology. It was obviously broken; the strap simply fell off. I didn’t have to pull and shatter it.Mathews, Angelo
“What’s the point not checking at that time and then checking it afterwards?” Mathews went on. “You must use common sense when utilizing technology. It was obviously broken; the strap simply fell off. I didn’t have to break it by pulling it.”
While it was true that fourth umpire Adrian Holdstock informed Ian Bishop during the mid-game break that “in the instance this afternoon, the batter wasn’t ready to receive the ball within those two minutes even before the strap became an issue for him,” Mathews was right when he asserted that he actually had five more seconds before the two minutes were up due to a broken strap.
At the halfway point of the game, fourth umpire Holdstock also emphasized that the batter should have “all your equipment in place.”
Mathews laughed at this notion.
That is really absurd. Yes, it is our duty; clearly, if I stepped up to bat against a quick bowler, it was my job,” he stated. Do you really believe I could tell if something was going to come off, though? I don’t get the reasoning.”