MCC has given their verdict on the Timed Out dismissal and also responded to the Mathews’ “video evidence” of being “wronged” by the match officials.
Angelo Mathews’ infamous and first-of-its-kind dismissal at the 2023 World Cup match between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh earlier this week at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi created quite a stir in world cricket. The former Sri Lanka captain was dismissed timed out, on appeal by Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan, when he failed to face the next delivery after the dismissal of Sadeera Samarawickrama. Mathews was livid at the call as he later criticised the fourth umpire while labelling Shakib’s act as “disgraceful”, however, MCC, the custodians of the Laws of Cricket, has given their verdict on the dismissal and also responded to the former’s “video evidence” of being “wronged” by the match officials.
Under the ICC One-Day International Playing Conditions, the incoming batter should be ready to face the ball within two minutes of the dismissal or retirement of the previous batter. MCC, in a statement released on Saturday, five days after that match in Delhi, highlighted that key part of Law 40.1.1, which pertains to Timed Out, is that being on the field or at the crease isn’t enough for a batter to escape this form of dismissal. The batter ought to be ready to face the bowler inside the allotted time.
Last Monday, in the controversial dismissal of Mathews, umpires concluded that he wasn’t ready to face the delivery within the allowed time as the veteran Sri Lanka all-rounder, without informing the on-field match officials, had signalled his dugout to get a spare helmet when his chin strap came off, which is when Shakib, on being made aware of Timed Out dismissal by one of his teammates, appealed. Had the umpires been informed, Mathews could have avoided the dismissal.
“Had the umpires been informed of a significant, justifiable, equipment-related delay within the two-minute allowance, they could have treated it as a new type of delay (as they would when, for example, a bat breaks), possibly even calling Time, allowing for a resolution of that delay without the batter being at risk of being Timed out. However, it is important to note that both umpires determined the delay came after the two minutes had elapsed, and that Time had not been called before the appeal,” MCC explained.
Refusing to believe that he took more than two minutes before calling for a spare helmet, a fuming Mathews later took to social media to provide a “video evidence” showing that he still had “5 more seconds”. Sharing a screengrab of the exact time of Samarawickrama’s dismissal and that of his arrival at the crease, Mathews alleged that the “fourth umpire was wrong here”.
However, MCC, in their verdict, revealed that the “umpires correctly gave Mathews out” as they highlighted the minute details of the 36-year-old’s arrival at the crease, which included the time taken and the moment of his helmet malfunction.
“Having taken more than 90 seconds to get to the 30-yard circle, Mathews appeared to notice that he was short on time, jogging the final few yards to the wicket. His helmet malfunction has since been shown to have taken place 1 minute and 54 seconds after the previous wicket had fallen. He had not, at this stage, begun to take guard and was not close to being in a position to receive the ball.
When the helmet broke, it appears that Mathews did not consult with the umpires, which a player would be expected to do when seeking new equipment. Rather, he just signalled to the dressing room for a replacement. Had he explained to the umpires what had happened and asked for time to get it sorted out, they might have allowed him to change the helmet, perhaps calling Time and thus removing any possibility of being Timed out. Given that Time had not been called, and that at the time of the appeal more than two minutes had elapsed, the umpires correctly gave Mathews out. In fact, there was no other action for the umpires to take within the Laws of Cricket,” the statement explained.