Angelo Mathews of Sri Lanka was unable to finish the World Cup match against Bangladesh due to timing constraints.
The match between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka at the Delhi World Cup on Monday sparked controversy when Angelo Mathews became the first player in the history of international cricket to be declared “timed out”.
After a victorious three-wicket match, Bangladesh rose to seventh place on the leaderboard. However, the main topic of discussion was the post-match incident in which Sri Lanka’s captain, Mathews, labeled Bangladesh’s captain, Shakib Al Hasan, as “disgraceful” for refusing to shake hands.
During the 25th over of Sri Lanka’s batting, Mathews entered the field after the fourth wicket fell. He noticed his helmet’s chin strap was broken and requested for a new one to be provided.
According to World Cup rules, a batter must be prepared to receive the ball within two minutes after the previous wicket falls. Despite this timeframe passing, Shakib, the bowler, unexpectedly appealed for a timed out against Mathews, surprising both him and the audience.
The umpire, Marais Erasmus, twice asked Shakib if he truly wished to go ahead with the appeal and the answer came back in the affirmative. It left a shellshocked Mathews out for a duck without facing a ball. The 36-year-old walked off and threw his helmet to the ground in disgust after reaching the Sri Lanka dugout.
After aiding his team in successfully chasing 280 runs and securing a spot in the top eight for the 2025 Champions Trophy, Shakib remained unapologetic and stated, “I was in a battle and needed to make a choice that would ensure my team’s victory. Whether it was right or wrong, there will always be discussions. But if it follows the regulations, I am willing to take those risks.”
Mathews criticized Shakib and Bangladesh, calling their behavior disgraceful. He stated that if they continue to play cricket in such a manner and lower themselves to that level, there is a serious issue.
While it is one of the nine ways to be dismissed in cricket, being timed out has mostly been a source of fear for players at every level, rather than a common occurrence. Throughout more than 61,000 first-class matches, there have only been six instances of this type of dismissal, and Mathews is now the first player to experience it in a List A match.
According to MCC law 40.1, a batter must be ready to face their first ball within three minutes of a wicket falling. However, at the international level, ICC regulations take precedence over the laws and state that the time limit is two minutes. During the change of innings, fourth umpire Adrian Holdstock declared that the time limit had passed before Mathews realized there was an issue with his helmet.
However, the infrequency of these types of dismissals and the use of inadequate protective gear caused a negative reaction. Waqar Younis, a former Pakistani cricket player who was providing commentary at the time, was one of many to raise doubts about whether it aligned with the integrity of the game. This sentiment was also expressed by other current and former players on various social media platforms.
During discussions about fair play in cricket, which often arise in cases of the Mankad dismissal (when a batter is run out at the non-striker’s end), there were some who defended Shakib’s actions. Despite losing the match, Mathews got some payback by taking out Shakib for 82 runs during the run chase and gesturing towards his wrist in celebration.