Angelo Mathews defended the Sri Lanka players’ decision not to shake hands with the Bangladesh players after their heated 2023 World Cup encounter at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi.

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Tensions grew in the match after Mathews was ‘Timed Out’ after an appeal by Shakib Al Hasan. The dismissal was the first of its kind in the history of international cricket and was greeted with controversy over whether Shakib should have appealed. Mathews had asked for a new helmet before facing his first ball because the chin-strap on his had broken. The umpires reportedly asked Shakib if he would withdraw the appeal but he chose not to do so.

From there, there were several heated incidents in the match, particularly during Bangladesh’s chase. Shakib was dropped off Mathews by Charith Asalanka, before Mathews got his wicket later on in the innings. The Sri Lanka players were involved in several tense interactions with umpires Marais Erasmus and Richard Illingworth over the ball, and the umpires frequently got between both sets of players.

After the game, the Sri Lanka players walked off the field without shaking the hands of their opponents. Speaking in the post-match press conference, Mathews defended the decision, saying: “You need to respect people who respect us. It doesn’t mean that… They have to respect the game itself. We all are ambassadors of this beautiful game, including the umpires. So if you don’t respect and you don’t use your common sense, what more can you ask for.”

Bangladesh’s victory by three wickets was their second of the tournament, and first since they beat Afghanistan in their opening game. The loss has officially knocked Sri Lanka out of contention for the semi-finals, and worsened their chances of qualifying for the 2025 Champions Trophy. Their final match of the tournament is against New Zealand on Thursday, November 9.