New Delhi, Nov 6 (PTI) Sri Lanka all-rounder Angelo Mathews on Monday became the first international cricketer to be 'timed out' after not being ready to face the ball within two minutes of the fall of a wicket against Bangladesh in a World Cup match here.
The incident happened in the 25th over when the 36-year-old walked out to bat after the dismissal of Sadeera Samarawickrama but found that the helmet strap was broken and immediately signalled for a replacement instead of facing the bowler Shakib Al Hasan.
This prompted Bangladesh to appeal for a 'time out'. Mathews was seen having an animated discussion with umpire Marais Erasmus and Richard Illingworth, explaining that he had some issue with the helmet strap. He also approached Shakib, who didn't withdraw his appeal and the Sri Lankan cricketer was forced to leave the field.
A furious Mathews, who made a late entry into the World Cup as a replacement player, walked back to the dug out, smashing his helmet outside the boundary rope in disgust.
He threw more equipment as he walked up the stairs towards the dressing room, from where Sri Lanka captain Kusal Mendis came down and was seen having an animated conversation with fourth umpire Adrian Holdstock and Bangladesh coach Chandika Hathurusingha.
Sri Lanka coach Chris Silverwood was seen speaking to Holdstock later on.
During the innings break, Holdstock said, "The batter wasn't ready within those two minutes even before the strap became an issue for him," suggesting the helmet delay was not the reason for Mathews' unusual dismissal.
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 says: "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' wicket, which was not credited to any bowler as per the rule, left Sri Lanka reeling at 135 for 5 in 24.2 overs. The Islanders, however, managed a competitive 279 all out in 49.3 overs riding on Charith Asalanka's century.
Though it has never happened in international cricket, there have been six such instances in domestic cricket, including one in the match between Tripura and Orissa at Cuttack in 1997 when Hemulal Yadav was at the receiving end.
The dismissal, the first instance in international cricket across all formats, including women's cricket, thus added another another chapter in the bitter rivalry between the two teams.
It also triggered a debate with Asalanka saying, "My point is that Mathews' dismissal was not good for the spirit of cricket." Pakistan pace great Waqar Younis also called it against the spirit of cricket, while former India opener Gautam Gambhir tweeted: "Absolutely pathetic what happened in Delhi today!" Australian batter Usman Khawaja questioned how could Mathews' be given 'timed out' when his helmet strap broke while he was at the crease.
"Angelo made his crease then his helmet strap broke. How is that timed out? I'm all for timed out if he doesn't make his crease but this is ridic (ridiculous). No different then a batsman getting to the crease then taking 3 minutes to face up," Khawaja wrote on 'X'. PTI ATK AM SSC AM AM