In a recent cricket match between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, an unprecedented incident occurred that left fans and players alike in disbelief. Angelo Mathews, a prominent Sri Lankan cricketer, found himself at the centre of an unusual dismissal – being timed out. This rare occurrence took place during the World Cup clash in Delhi on November 6, adding an extra layer of drama to an already intense rivalry.
The situation unfolded in the 25th over of Sri Lanka’s innings when Shakib Al Hasan, the captain of the Bangladesh team, had just dismissed Sadeera Samarawickrama. Angelo Mathews, a seasoned all-rounder, was due to walk in as the next batter. However, things took an unexpected turn as Mathews encountered a problem with his helmet. The strap on his helmet had broken just as he was preparing to take guard.
Mathews, not wanting to compromise on his safety, called for a replacement helmet. This led to a sequence of events that would eventually result in his unique dismissal. Shakib Al Hasan and the Bangladesh team seized this opportunity to appeal for a “timed out” dismissal, as Mathews was taking longer than the stipulated two minutes allowed under the ICC playing conditions to be ready to face the ball.
The umpires, after some deliberation, upheld the appeal, leaving Mathews visibly dismayed and perplexed. He engaged in an extended conversation with both the umpires and Bangladesh team members, but the verdict remained unaltered. Consequently, Mathews was compelled to exit the field, marking the first instance in international cricket history where a player was dismissed in this fashion.
The “timed out” rule, as per the men’s cricket World Cup 2023 playing conditions, states that after the fall of a wicket or the retirement of a batter, the incoming batter must be ready to receive the ball within two minutes of the dismissal or retirement. Failure to meet this requirement results in the batter being declared “Timed out.” Notably, the bowler does not receive credit for the wicket in such cases.
This incident was indeed a rare and perplexing occurrence in cricket, but it was completely within the legal framework of the game. As Angelo Mathews walked back to the pavilion, he did so with a mix of frustration and disappointment, evident in his actions of kicking his helmet and tossing his bat in frustration.
Interestingly, this incident brought to light another occurrence in cricket history. In the 2007 South Africa-India Cape Town test match, then-India captain Sourav Ganguly had come close to being timed out. In that particular match, India encountered early setbacks as both their opening batsmen were dismissed in the second over of the innings. Sachin Tendulkar, originally designated to bat at No. 4, experienced delays in taking the field, partly attributed to his extended time off during South Africa’s innings on the third day of the match. The Indian team was unaware of Tendulkar’s situation, causing confusion and disorder on the field. Sourav Ganguly, who was still in his tracksuit, had to hastily make his way to the crease, and by the time he arrived at the pitch, a total of six minutes had passed. However, on that occasion, the South African team opted not to appeal, considering the extraordinary circumstances of the situation.