The 'spirit of cricket' debate has reignited at the World Cup after England's Adil Rashid was badly exposed during his side's embarrassing defeat to Sri Lanka. England's World Cup defence is all but over after they crashed to a historic eight-wicket defeat to Sri Lanka, having won the toss and being bowled out for a paltry 156 in Bengaluru.
England's score was the lowest all-out total in the history of ODIs at the venue and the ignominy of defeat for Jos Buttler's side was exacerbated by the calamitous dismissal of Rashid. The England bowler was comically run out at the non-striker's end after wandering out of his crease and showing little awareness to get back to safety when the ball went to Kusal Mendis behind the stumps.
In scenes reminiscent of the Alex Carey stumping of Jonny Bairstow during the Ashes - which sparked huge controversy and kicked off a 'spirit of cricket' debate - Sri Lanka's wicketkeeper noticed Rashid out of his crease and took an optimistic shot at the stumps. The throw from Mendis crashed into the stumps at the non-striker's end before Rashid had any idea what was going on.
— Todd Davey (@ToddJDavey) October 26, 2023
Rashid trudged back to the pavilion after his shambolic run-out, prompting a series of swipes at the England man from across the cricket world. “That is dopey from Adil Rashid, it’s absolutely brilliant from Sri Lanka’s captain,” Ian Ward said in commentary.
Dinesh Karthik added: “Pretty much sums up the day for England, been caught napping.” The Sun's cricket writer Justin Allen described Rashid as a "dozy fool" and said the incident summed up England's horror showing.
“And just when you thought it couldn’t get worse it does," he tweeted. “Sorry but Rashid is a complete and utter dozy fool. Does he not realise when you are eight down there is no margin for falling asleep on the job?”
Adil Rashid run-out sparks 'spirit of cricket' backlash
England's calamitous batting innings was as good as over when Rashid was run out, with the incident by no means proving pivotal to the final result. Many fans were quick to point out the lack of uproar against Mendis and the Sri Lankan side from England, however, with many noting how similar it was to the Ashes scenes that saw Carey painted as 'Enemy No.1' by English supporters.
Spirit of cricket? @StuartBroad8 @TheBarmyArmy @MichaelVaughan
I mean he didn’t intend to run there
I’m shocked you guys didn’t cry this time around#ENGvsSL #CWC23INDIA #CWC #EnglandCricket pic.twitter.com/b3n7hDphvO
— Vinay Chipkar (@vinay_chipkar) October 26, 2023
That Rashid dismissal summed up England at the World Cup. Lackadaisical, no intensity, not really bothered. Awful, awful, awful. We really are either wonderful or absolutely dreadful.
— Ironically Anonymous (@Anon739577364) October 26, 2023
— Todd Davey (@ToddJDavey) October 26, 2023
@piersmorgan honest thoughts on Rashid dismissal?
Ball looked more dead in keepers hands than Carey’s?
However Rashid never returned to crease after gaining advantage.
Law says both our, simple, stay in crease! Not above the laws of game #ENGvSRI #CWC2023
— Mull (@jmull38) October 26, 2023
i asked the same question yesterday..
was it not against the spirit of the game then ?
or is this said spirit invoked only when it's convenient to do so .
— The Cricket Slouch (@Cricketing_Conv) October 26, 2023
All eyes on @piersmorgan right now. Rashid wasn’t attempting a run, the ball had been taking the keepers glove - how’s he going to rule this? It can’t be a moral victory for the Poms, but Alex Carey is probably to blame.
— Tim Stewart (@timjstewart) October 26, 2023
England's campaign on life support after crushing loss
A scrappy 43 from Ben Stokes was as good as it got for England's batting attack as another meek and error-strewn performance left the reigning World Cup champions in disarray. England have now lost four of their five games by heavy margins and will now almost certainly have to win all their remaining games - including one against undefeated hosts India - and hope a raft of other results go their way.
England's record-low showing in Bengaluru was never likely to be enough to stop Sri Lanka and so it proved as Pathum Nissanka (77 not out) and Sadeera Samarawickrama (65no) peeled off an effortless century stand in response. In all England used just 33.2 overs in the first innings and 25.4 in the second, a damning indictment on all fronts.
"It looks like it could need a few miracles - that we'd have to win every game and things go our way to progress further in this tournament," a gloomy Buttler said after the match. "To be sat here now with the three weeks we've had is a shock. It's a shock to everyone.
"I'll walk back in the dressing room after this, look at the players and think 'how have we found ourselves in this position with the talent and the skill that's in the room?'. But it's the reality of what's happened over the last three weeks and that's a huge low point."
Sign up to our newsletter and score the biggest sport stories of the week.