Is the Spirit of Cricket ‘Timed Out’?

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The spirit of Cricket has been taken into question once again during Sri Lanka’s ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 encounter against Bangladesh in Delhi, when Angelo Mathews became the first ever batter in international Cricket to be dismissed ‘Timed Out’.

Reporting from Delhi, India

The incident happened in the 25th over of the Sri Lanka innings when Shakib Al Hasan had just dismissed Samarawickrama, caught by Mahmudullah near the rope.

Mathews as usual walked to the crease, and then struggled with his helmet as the strap broke just as he was taking guard.

As he signalled to the dressing room for a new helmet, Shakib and the Bangladesh team appealed for a ‘Timed Out’ dismissal and the umpires upheld the appeal much to Mathews’ dismay.

Mathews was seen deep in discussion with Bangladesh and the umpires, but the appeal was not withdrawn, and former Skipper Mathews had to walk back dismayed.

The ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 playing conditions pertaining to ‘Timed Out’ dismissals reads thus:

40.1.1 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 2 minutes of the dismissal or retirement. If this requirement is not met, the incoming batter will be out, Timed out.

With Mathews taking more than two minutes to face his first ball, he had to be sent back to the pavilion following the appeal. The official out time for Mathews was 15:54 local time, five minutes later after Samarawickrama’s dismissal.

It was the first time in international Cricket, Men’s or Women’s, that a batter was dismissed according to the ‘Timed Out’ law.

Whilst the umpires tried to talk Shakib Al Hasan out of the appeal, the Bangladesh Skipper did not withdraw the appeal, questioning the spirit of the game.

Many experts and former players questioned the spirit of the game on social media following the incident.

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