Mathews timed out in a World Cup game against Bangladesh

Photo Mathews, Sri lanka cricket player along with refery trying to explain his issues with helmet.

Angelo Mathews created a historic moment in the Sri Lanka vs. Bangladesh World Cup match when he became the first international cricket player to be timed out. This unprecedented event was the result of a delay attributed to a helmet strap issue, leaving him unprepared to face the delivery within the stipulated two-minute window. Notably, Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan chose to uphold the appeal without withdrawal.

Mathews encountered helmet strap issues, necessitating a request for a replacement, and regrettably, he couldn’t get ready to face his first delivery within the mandatory two-minute window after coming in as the No. 6 batsman for Sri Lanka.

In Monday’s game, Bangladesh’s captain, Shakib Al Hasan, made a formal request for the batter’s dismissal, resulting in Angelo Mathews leaving the field, as signaled by the on-field umpires, in a surprising sequence of events.

The MCC Laws dictate a three-minute time frame for batters to prepare to face the first delivery, but the rules specific to this tournament stipulated a two-minute requirement, possibly leading to some confusion.

Despite Mathews explaining the delay was due to his helmet malfunctioning, Shakib chose not to retract his appeal. An agitated Mathews vented his frustration by throwing his helmet on the ground as he departed the field. Charith Asalanka, who had contributed 108 runs to Sri Lanka’s total of 279, expressed his view that Mathews’ dismissal was not in accordance with the spirit of cricket.

Contrary to the principles of the sport?

World Cup commentator and former Pakistan captain Waqar Younis expressed his displeasure with the incident, underscoring his commitment to preserving the integrity of the sport. He acknowledged that, according to the Laws of the game, Mathews might have been rightfully given out but found the appeal and the subsequent commotion excessive and not to his liking.

Former Bangladesh cricketer and World Cup commentator Athar Ali Khan shared a similar viewpoint, disapproving of the episode and deeming it inconsistent with the sport’s values. He believed that, in cases involving a malfunctioning helmet, there should be some flexibility to allow more time for correction. While recognizing Shakib’s legitimate concerns about the over-rate, Khan personally wouldn’t have taken the same action, as he believed it did not project a positive image.

World Cup commentator and former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja emphasized the responsibility of cricketers to grasp the rules and their underlying spirit, even though many may not. He lauded the umpires for their decision but called for a deeper understanding of both the rules and their intent, advocating for a greater adherence to the Laws and their fundamental principles.

What do the MCC Laws stipulate in terms of regulations?

40.1 Timed Out

40.1.1 When a wicket falls or a batter retires, the new batter is required to be ready to face the next delivery or for the other batter to be set to receive the following ball within a 3-minute time limit from the dismissal or retirement, unless Time has been called. Failing to adhere to this requirement will lead to the incoming batter being declared out for timing.

40.1.2 In cases of prolonged delays during which no batter takes the field, the umpires will follow the procedure specified in Law 16.3 (Umpires awarding a match). In this context, the commencement of the action is defined as the conclusion of the previously mentioned 3-minute period.

40.2 No Attributed Wicket to the Bowler

The bowler is not attributed with the wicket.

What do the ICC playing regulations say about this?

They specify that after a batter is dismissed or retires, the incoming batter must, unless Time has been called, be in a position to face the ball or for the other batter to be ready to receive the next delivery within two minutes. If this requirement is not met, the incoming batter will be ruled out, known as being “Timed out.”

Below is a compilation of players who encountered timed-out dismissals in first-class cricket:

  1. Andrew Jordaan – During the match between Eastern Province and Transvaal in 1987/88.
  2. Hemulal Yadav – In the game featuring Tripura and Orissa in 1997.
  3. Vasbert Drakes – In a contest between Border and Free State in 2002.
  4. AJ Harris – While playing for Nottinghamshire against Durham UCCE in 2003.
  5. Ryan Austin – In a match involving Combined Campuses and Colleges against Windward Islands in 2013.
  6. Charles Kunje – During the game between Matabeleland Tuskers and Mountaineers in 2017/18.


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