Angelo Mathews Timed Out: A Historic Moment in Cricket World Cup 2023

In the fast-paced world of cricket, rare and historic events often leave fans and experts alike in awe. One such instance unfolded during the World Cup 2023 group-stage match between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, where Angelo Mathews made international history by becoming the first batter to be timed out in the world of cricket. This unexpected incident has sparked debates, confusion, and raised questions about the laws governing this sport. So, what exactly happened, what do the laws say, and how has the cricketing community reacted to this unusual occurrence?

What Happened? In World Cup 2023

Angelo Mathews Timed Out: A Historic Moment in Cricket World Cup 2023
Photo Credit | ICC |

The incident occurred during the 25th over of the match when Sadeera Samarawickrama was dismissed by the second ball. Angelo Mathews, a seasoned cricketer at 35, was ready to take guard when he encountered an equipment malfunction. While readjusting his helmet, the chinstrap snapped in his hand. Realizing the issue, Mathews immediately called for a replacement helmet.

Mathews sought assistance from Bangladesh’s captain, Shakib Al Hasan, showing him the damaged helmet and requesting time for a new one. Following this, Mathews engaged in a discussion with umpires Richard Illingworth and Marais Erasmus. Erasmus, in turn, conversed with Shakib, potentially discussing the appeal for dismissal. However, matters took a perplexing turn when Mathews was asked to leave the field after the discussions.

Resigned to his fate, Mathews walked off the field, tossing his broken helmet aside. The situation escalated when Sri Lanka’s captain, Kusal Mendis, engaged in an animated conversation with the fourth umpire Adrian Holdstock and Bangladesh’s coach Chandika Hathurusingha. Sri Lanka’s coach, Chris Silverwood, was also seen conversing with Holdstock later on.

During the innings transition, Holdstock noted that “the batter wasn’t ready within those two minutes even before the strap became an issue for him,” suggesting that the helmet delay was not the primary reason for his dismissal. This incident was further complicated by the International Cricket Council (ICC) having a different timeframe than the Laws of the game, which are determined by the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC).

What Is the Law?

The Laws of cricket apply to all forms of the game, except when specific playing conditions are implemented for particular tournaments, leagues, or matches. In this case, Law 40.1.1 deals with a batter being timed out and states, “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 within three minutes of the dismissal or retirement.In the event that this necessity isn’t met, the approaching hitter will be out, Coordinated out.

However, the ICC’s playing conditions for this World Cup read differently, requiring the incoming batter to be ready within two minutes. In essence, Mathews had only two minutes, rather than three, to prepare to face his first ball.

What Has the Reaction Been?

The reaction to this unusual dismissal has been mixed, with various cricketing personalities offering their insights. Niall O’Brien, a former Ireland wicket keeper and part of the BBC Test Match Special team, expressed his opinion, stating, “I think he was ready to face the ball. He was on the pitch, and his equipment failed him.I think there was an error there.

Athar Ali Khan, an ex-Bangladesh batter and a TV commentator, disagreed, remarking, “I don’t like what I’m seeing. It isn’t great for the game. It’s against the soul of the game, that is the means by which I feel about it. Assuming that something turns out badly with the protective cap, you ought to be permitted an additional two or three minutes to fix it.

Former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja, also a commentator, believed the umpires handled the situation well, emphasizing the responsibility of cricketers to understand the rules and the spirit of the game.

When Were the Other Instances?

This incident marks the seventh instance of the Law being used for a batter being timed out. Notably, it is the first occurrence in international and limited-overs cricket, with all previous instances taking place in domestic first-class cricket.

In a world where cricket continuously evolves, this historic moment provides a fresh perspective on the laws and rules that govern the game. While debates may continue, Angelo Mathews’ unique dismissal will undoubtedly be remembered as a peculiar footnote in cricket history.

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Angelo Mathews’ timed-out dismissal during the World Cup match against Bangladesh has created a significant buzz in the cricketing community. This historic event raises questions about the intricacies of cricket laws, with differing interpretations from various experts. Whether it was an unfortunate equipment malfunction or a legitimate dismissal, one thing is certain: Mathews’ unusual exit will be etched in cricketing history.

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