The ‘Spirit of Cricket’ question came into the picture once again as rare incident happened at the Cricket World Cup. In a match in Delhi, Sri Lanka star Angelo Mathews became the first player in international cricket to be timed out. In the Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka Cricket World Cup match, Angelo Mathews was left stunned as rival skipper Shakib Al Hasan appealed for ‘timed out’. It all started when Angelo Mathews came in to bat in the 25th over, being bowled by Shakib Al Hasan. The former Sri Lanka captain soon realised that the strap of his helmet was not alright.

As he waited for the right helmet, Shakib Al Hasan appealed for a timed out. Angelo Mathews was absolutely livid. He pleaded with the umpires but Shakib Al Hasan did not withdraw his appeal. The dismissal made Angelo Mathews the victim of a rare dismissal.

Indian cricket team great Gautam Gambhir was not happy with what transpired. Even, South Africa great Dale Steyn was not pleased with the incident.

“Absolutely pathetic what happened in Delhi today! #AngeloMathews” Gautam Gambhir posted on X (formerly Twitter).

“Well, that wasn’t cool,” Dale Steyn posted.

It also triggered a debate with Asalanka saying, “My point is that Mathews’ dismissal was not good for the spirit of cricket.” Pakistan pace great Waqar Younis also called it against the spirit of cricket.

Australian batter Usman Khawaja questioned how could Mathews’ be given ‘timed out’ when his helmet strap broke while he was at the crease.

“Angelo made his crease then his helmet strap broke. How is that timed out? I’m all for timed out if he doesn’t make his crease but this is ridic (ridiculous). No different then a batsman getting to the crease then taking 3 minutes to face up,” Khawaja wrote on ‘X’.

According to article 40.1.1 of the ICC playing conditions for the 2023 World Cup, “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 two minutes of the dismissal or retirement. If this requirement is not met, the incoming batter will be out, Timed out.” Article 40.1.2 says: “In the event of an extended delay in which no batter comes to the wicket, the umpires shall adopt the procedure of Law 16.3 (ICC Match referee awarding a match). For the purposes of that clause the start of the action shall be taken as the expiry of the two minutes referred to above.”

Though it has never happened in international cricket, there have been six such instances in domestic cricket, including one in the match between Tripura and Orissa at Cuttack in 1997 when Hemulal Yadav was at the receiving end.

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