In a truly remarkable turn of events, the 38th match of the 2023 ODI World Cup witnessed a historic moment as Sri Lankan batsman Angelo Mathews became the first-ever cricketer in international cricket to be ‘timed out.’ The game took place at Delhi’s Arun Jaitley Stadium, where Bangladesh emerged victorious in the encounter, leaving fans and experts astounded.
The astonishing incident occurred during the 25th over of the Sri Lankan innings, with Bangladesh’s captain and spinner Shakib Al Hasan delivering the over. Shakib swiftly dismissed Sadira Samarawickrama on the second ball of the over. As Angelo Mathews took his position at the crease, an unexpected drama unfolded.
Mathews, it seems, was not properly equipped with the correct helmet as he walked into bat. He gestured to his teammates in the pavilion to bring him another helmet. However, in the midst of this, Shakib Al Hasan surprisingly appealed for a ‘time out’ to the on-field umpire. At first, it appeared as if the umpire thought it was a jest, but Shakib clarified that he was genuinely appealing for a ‘time out.’ Consequently, the umpires instructed Mathews to leave the field.
Mathews was taken aback by the decision and sought an explanation from the umpires. It was then revealed that he had taken too long to come to the crease, resulting in a ‘timed out’ dismissal. A heated debate between Mathews, the umpires, and the opposition captain, Shakib Al Hasan, ensued. However, Shakib stood firm on his appeal.
The two on-field umpires collectively deemed Mathews ‘timed out.’ This rare occurrence led to the Sri Lankan team losing two wickets on a single ball. A disheartened Mathews had no option but to leave the field without facing a single delivery.
In the 146-year history of international cricket, spanning Test matches, ODIs, and T20 Internationals, this was the first instance of a batsman being ‘timed out.’ It’s important to note that in this case, the new rules of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, which reduced the time limit from three minutes to two minutes, were applied. Notably, the wicket does not get credited to the bowler in a ‘timed out’ scenario.
This unique incident was governed by the rules outlined in 40.1.1 of the Marylebone Cricket Club, the custodians of cricket’s laws. The rule states, “After the fall of a wicket or the retirement of the batsman, if the umpire does not stop the play, then the next batsman must be ready to face the next ball within two minutes. If this requirement is not met, then the incoming batsman will be given out.”
While a ‹timed out› decision is unprecedented in international cricket, it has occurred in first-class cricket on six occasions in the past, with notable cricketers like Hemulal Yadav of India also experiencing this rare dismissal.
Cricket enthusiasts and experts worldwide are still buzzing about this unprecedented ‹timed out› decision, which has added a new chapter to the annals of the sport›s history.