Sri Lankan Cricketer Angelo Mathews Makes History with International Cricket's First Timed Out

Sri Lankan Cricketer Angelo Mathews Makes History with International Cricket's First Timed Out

New Delhi - Angelo Mathews, the all-rounder from Sri Lanka, made history on Monday as he became the first international cricketer to experience a 'timed out' dismissal. This unprecedented incident occurred during a World Cup match against Bangladesh, taking place here in New Delhi.

The incident unfolded in the 25th over when the 36-year-old Mathews strode to the crease following the dismissal of Sadeera Samarawickrama. To his dismay, he discovered that the strap on his helmet was broken. Instead of facing the bowler Shakib Al Hasan, Mathews immediately signaled for a replacement helmet.

This action prompted Bangladesh to appeal for a 'time out.' Mathews engaged in an animated discussion with umpires Marais Erasmus and Richard Illingworth, explaining the issue with his helmet strap. He also approached Shakib, who chose not to withdraw his appeal. Consequently, Mathews was forced to leave the field.

Furious about the situation, Mathews, who had entered the World Cup as a replacement player, marched back to the dugout and expressed his frustration by forcefully smashing his helmet beyond the boundary rope.

According to Article 40.1.1 of the ICC playing conditions for the 2023 World Cup, "After the fall of a wicket or the retirement of a batter, the incoming batter must, unless Time has been called, be ready to receive the ball or for the other batter to be ready to receive the next ball within two minutes of the dismissal or retirement. If this requirement is not met, the incoming batter will be out, Timed out."

Article 40.1.2 further states: "In the event of an extended delay in which no batter comes to the wicket, the umpires shall adopt the procedure of Law 16.3 (ICC Match referee awarding a match). For the purposes of that clause, the start of the action shall be taken as the expiry of the two minutes referred to above."

Mathews' dismissal, which was not attributed to any bowler due to the rule, left Sri Lanka struggling at 135 for 5 in 24.2 overs. However, the Sri Lankan team managed to post a competitive total of 279 all out in 49.3 overs, largely thanks to Charith Asalanka's century.

Although such an incident had never occurred in international cricket before, there were six documented instances in domestic cricket, including one during a match between Tripura and Orissa in Cuttack in 1997, where Hemulal Yadav faced a similar fate.

This dismissal marked the first occurrence in international cricket across all formats, including women's cricket, adding another chapter to the already bitter rivalry between these two teams.

The incident sparked a debate, with Asalanka stating, "My point is that Mathews' dismissal was not in line with the spirit of cricket."

Renowned Pakistani pace bowler Waqar Younis also criticized the decision, considering it against the spirit of the game. Former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir expressed his displeasure on Twitter, stating, "Absolutely pathetic what happened in Delhi today!"

Australian batsman Usman Khawaja questioned the 'timed out' decision, especially when Mathews' helmet strap broke while he was already at the crease. He argued, "Angelo made his crease, then his helmet strap broke. How is that timed out? I'm all for a timed out if he doesn't make his crease, but this is ridiculous. It's no different than a batsman reaching the crease and then taking three minutes to face up," Khawaja posted on 'X'.

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