Sri Lanka all-rounder Angelo Mathews scripted an unwanted record as he became the first-ever batter to be timed out in the history of international cricket during the World Cup 2023 group match against Bangladesh in New Delhi. The strap of Mathews’ helmet broke as he walked to bat, and he requested a replacement. However, while he waited for the replacement helmet, Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan appealed to the umpires, and Mathews was given out.
The umpires had little choice but to give Mathews out, as the appeal was supported by Shakib. Mathews came in to bat after Shakib had dismissed Sadeera Samarawickrama, who had scored 41 off 42 balls. However, Mathews had to walk back without even facing a ball.
The experienced Sri Lankan all-rounder called out for another helmet, which took time, and the Bangladesh team appealed to the umpire. Mathews was then seen having an impassioned debate with umpires Marais Erasmus and Richard Illingworth, saying that he had a problem with the helmet strap, but he was asked to leave the field.
Former Pakistan captain Waqar Younis, who was in the commentary box for the match, was not happy with the call and believes it was against the spirit of the game. However, he also acknowledged that it is in the rule book and Bangladesh had every right to put in an appeal there.
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On the other hand, commentator and former West Indies pacer Ian Bishop claimed that Angelo Mathews’s strap broke after he walked into the middle. He asked for a change of helmet as he was not able to put the strap on his helmet.
Explanation of MCC Rule 40.1:
MCC Rule 40.1 states that after the fall of a wicket or the retirement of a batter, the incoming batter must be ready to receive the ball, or the other batter must be ready to receive the next ball within 3 minutes of the dismissal or retirement. If this requirement is not met, the incoming batter will be out, Timed out.
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 (Umpires awarding a match). For the purposes of that Law the start of the action shall be taken as the expiry of the three minutes referred to above.
In the case of Angelo Mathews, the umpires deemed that he had taken too long to get ready to bat, even though he had a legitimate reason for the delay. As a result, they gave him out Timed out.