Sri Lanka’s Mathews earns bizarre ‘timed out’ distinction

Angelo Mathews

Sri Lanka’s Angelo Mathews walks after losing his wicket due to time out. ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 – Bangladesh Vs Sri Lanka – Arun Jaitley Stadium, New Delhi, India – November 6, 2023.

Sri Lanka’s Angelo Mathews earned the dubious distinction of being the first ever player in international cricket to be ‘timed out’ in Monday’s World Cup match against Bangladesh at the Arun Jaitley Stadium.

Former Sri Lanka captain Mathews walked in after the fall of Sadeera Samarawickrama in the 25th over of the Sri Lankan innings but found the chinstrap of his helmet broken before he could take guard against bowler Shakib Al Hasan.

Mathews removed his helmet and gestured to the dressing room asking for a replacement helmet as the clock ticked by.

Under the tournament’s playing conditions, a new batter should be ready to face the ball within two minutes but Mathews was seen still waiting for team mate Chamika Karunaratne to run in with a new helmet.

Shakib was seen chatting with umpire Marais Erasmus before making an appeal and the batter was adjudged timed out.

Mathews remonstrated with the umpires for a while before leaving the pitch shaking his had in dismay and threw his helmet soon after crossing the boundary.

“My point is that Mathews’ dismissal was not good for the spirit of cricket,” Sri Lanka’s Charith Asalanka, who smashed a century in the match, told the broadcasters.

Former Bangladesh captain Athar Ali Khan echoed the same view while commentating on the match.

“I don’t like what I’m seeing, it is not good for the game. It’s against the spirit of the game, that’s how I feel about it.

“If something goes wrong with the helmet you should be allowed an extra couple of minutes to fix it.”

Former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja said it was the batter’s duty to be ready within the stipulated time.

“To a certain degree it is an onus on cricketers to learn the rules and understand the spirit of the rules,” Raja said.

“Most of us don’t, but the umpires were on top of the situation. It was a tough call to make.”

There have been at least half a dozen such cases in first-class cricket, the most recent being Zimbabwean Charles Kunje’s dismissal in a Logan Cup match in 2017.