Sri Lanka batsman Angelo Mathews made history in the world of international cricket on Monday as the first player to be given a “timed out” dismissal after taking longer than the regulation two minutes to take strike at the crease. This incident occurred during a fiery World Cup clash won by Bangladesh, who successfully chased down a target of 280 runs with three wickets and 53 balls to spare.
Mathews’ dismissal overshadowed the result of the match, as tensions rose on the field. Verbal exchanges between Najmul Hasan Shanto and Sri Lanka’s Sadeera Samarawickrama had to be separated by the umpires, and Sri Lankan players later surrounded the umpires demanding a ball change. Mathews had come to bat after Samarawickrama’s fall in the 25th over but faced a delay in play due to his helmet strap not being secured properly. Bangladesh’s skipper, Shakib Al Hasan, appealed for the wicket, and after discussions with both teams, the decision was upheld.
The 36-year-old Mathews left the field reluctantly, and his dismissal was met with bemusement by most spectators. Shakib was later named man of the match. Sri Lanka’s Charith Asalanka, who scored a century in the match, commented that Mathews’ dismissal was not in the spirit of cricket, while former cricketers Dale Steyn and Gautam Gambhir described it as uncool and pathetic, respectively.
According to the laws of cricket, an incoming player must be ready to receive the ball within two minutes after a wicket has fallen or a batsman has retired. The Association of Cricket Statisticians and Historians noted that there have been six instances of “timed out” in first-class cricket, but this was the first occurrence in List A or Twenty20 cricket, until Mathews’ dismissal.
Mathews, an experienced player with 225 one-day internationals, 106 Tests, and 78 Twenty20 internationals under his belt, has had a successful career, accumulating 5,900 runs and 122 wickets. He also played a role in Bangladesh’s batting innings, taking the wicket of Shakib and triggering a collapse as they approached their target of 280 runs. Sri Lanka’s Asalanka had earlier played a crucial role in rebuilding the innings, scoring his second ODI century after the team slipped to 135-5 following Mathews’ dismissal. The match took place in New Delhi, despite the city’s high levels of pollution.