‘Mathews’s dismissal not good for spirit of cricket’


Sri Lanka all-rounder Angelo Mathews became the first international cricketer to be ‘timed out’ after not being ready to face the ball within two minutes following the fall of a wicket in the ICC World Cup match against Bangladesh, at the Arun Jaitley stadium in New Delhi, on Monday.

His dismissal triggered a debate with Charith Asalanka, who rallied the Lankans with a dogged 108 off 105 balls, which included 6 fours and 5 sixes, hundred, saying, “My point is that Mathews’s 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!”

Australia batter Usman Khawaja questioned how Mathews could 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 posted on ‘X’.

The incident occurred 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 ‘time out’.

Mathews had an animated discussion with umpire Marais Erasmus and Richard Illingworth, explaining that he had an issue with the helmet strap. He also approached Shakib, who refused to withdraw his appeal, forcing the Sri Lankan to leave the field.

A furious Mathews, who made a late entry into the World Cup squad as a replacement player, walked back to the dug-out, smashing his helmet outside the boundary rope in disgust.

According to article 40.1.1 of the ICC playing conditions for the 2023 World Cup read: “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’s 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, did well to post a competitive 279 all out in 49.3 overs.

Though it never happened in international cricket, there were 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 chapter in the bitter rivalry between the two teams.

  • World Cup 2023

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