Home » Angelo Mathews timed-out to ‘pitch switch’: Top controversies of World Cup 2023 | Cricket News – Times of India

Angelo Mathews timed-out to ‘pitch switch’: Top controversies of World Cup 2023 | Cricket News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: A sports event invariably has its share of controversies, and the 2023 ODI World Cup was no exception. With incidents ranging from concerns over the spirit of the game to ones that put the game’s rules under the scanner, the buzz around the tournament both on and off the field never died.
Australia lifted their sixth ODI World Cup trophy with a six-wicket victory over India in Ahmedabad on Sunday, as the tournament came to its successful conclusion at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Sunday.
Talking about major controversies in the 13th edition of the 50-over World Cup, TimesofIndia.com takes a look at five incidents that became topics of debates on news shows and social media.
‘Pitch switch’ controversy
Ahead of the first semifinal between India and New Zealand at the Wankhede Stadium, the World Cup saw its biggest controversy when a few reports emerged and suggested that the pitch was changed at the last moment in an attempt to help the Indian spinners.
The reports claimed that although an unused strip was selected for the last-four clash, a late decision was made to play on a previously used surface to allegedly give advantage to the Indian team.
But the ICC put an end to the controversy by clarifying that the independent pitch consultant Andy Atkinson was taken into confidence on the change of surface. The global governing body stated that the decision to change the pitch has nothing uncommon to it.
“Changes to planned pitch rotations are common towards the end of an event of this length and have already happened a couple of times. This change was made on the recommendation of the venue curator in conjunction with our host,” the ICC said in a statement.
Angelo Mathews timed-out
Mathews became the first batter in international cricket to be dismissed ‘timed out.’ This occurred when he failed to take his position at the crease within the permitted two minutes following the dismissal of Sadeera Samarawickrama against Bangladesh, leading to a significant controversy.
Mathews realised that the strap of his helmet was broken and asked for a new helmet. The delay prompted Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan to appeal and the umpires upheld it despite Mathews’s repeated pleas.
However, Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), the custodian of the rules of the game, ruled in the favour of umpires, saying Mathews could have avoided getting dismissed in that fashion by consulting the officials before asking for a new helmet.
“When the helmet broke, it appears that Mathews did not consult with the umpires, which a player would be expected to do when seeking new equipment. Rather, he just signalled to the dressing room for a replacement,” the MCC said in a statement.
Former Pakistan players’ bizarre remarks
A host of former Pakistan players grabbed the headlines for all the wrong reasons, making bizarre remarks that were not even endorsed by their compatriots and faced severe backlash from the cricket fraternity.
Hasan Raza claimed that the ICC and BCCI were changing balls during the game, which allowed the Indian pacers to extract more swing. He even went on to suggest that the BCCI is manipulating the DRS in favour of the Indian team.
In another comment, Mohammad Hafeez questioned Virat Kohli’s intent to complete his century in the World Cup match against South Africa. He suggested the Indian batting icon played selfish when he was close to his record-equalling 49th ODI hundred and was looking for singles instead of hitting boundaries in the 49th over in a bid to achieve the milestone.
Also, Sikander Bakht joined the list of controversy stirrers by making allegations on Indian skipper Rohit Sharma’s manner of tossing the coin. Sikander claimed that when Rohit spins the coin at the time of toss, “he always sends the coin far and the opposition captain never goes to see the outcome.”
The ‘umpire’s call’ that decides the outcome of the match
The umpire’s call, one of cricket’s most ambiguous laws, came under spotlight once again during the Pakistan vs South Africa match.
The DRS played a crucial role in South Africa’s narrow one-wicket victory over Pakistan. The Proteas suffered a dramatic collapse and were reduced to 260/9 in their pursuit of 271.
After dismissing Lungi Ngidi with a stunning caught and bowled, Pakistan pacer Haris Rauf was breathing fire as he struck Tabraiz Shamsi on the pads and made a huge appeal, but the on-field umpire ruled in favour of the batter. However, a convinced Rauf asked skipper Babar Azam to go for DRS.
The replays showed Shamsi adjacent to the stumps when the ball hit his pads, but the ball tracking was not in the bowler’s favour as the ball’s trajectory showed it to be just clipping Shamsi’s leg-stump. So it was ruled ‘umpire’s call’.
The on-field umpire’s ‘not out’ decision was upheld, after which Keshav Maharaj hit spinner Mohammad Nawaz for a four to signal South Africa’s victory.
While the South Africans celebrated, the DRS call and its rules were hotly debated on social media, when an old video from an India vs England Test match resurfaced on microblogging website ‘X’ (formerly Twitter), where the ex-England captain Nasser Hussain explained why the ‘umpire’s call’ is required to make up for the margin of error in technology.
Virat Kohli’s century vs Bangladesh
Virat Kohli entertained fans like never before in this World Cup. But found himself in a tricky situation during India’s league match against Bangladesh when he was batting on 97 and the team needed only two runs to win.
Bangladesh spinner Nasum Ahmed tried to spoil the party by intentionally bowling down the leg side but what followed next left everyone surprised as the on-field umpire Richard Kettleborough decided not to call it a wide.
A couple of deliveries later, in the 42nd over, Kohli deposited the ball over deep midwicket to finish the game with a six, reaching 103 not out and completing India’s comfortable win.