Timed out dismissal in Bangladesh-Sri Lanka match creates huge uproar in cricket world: Angelo Mathews shows ‘video evidence’ to prove umpires wrong

Yesterday’s Bangladesh-Sri Lanka match in the ICC Cricket Tournament at the Arun Jaitely Stadium in Delhi will be remembered for the most controversial dismissal in international cricket. The cricket world is already divided in their opinions about the dismissal. Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hassan has been transfixed with scathing comments for his unsportsmanship behaviour in cricket often called as ‘Gentleman’s Game’.

The Sri Lankan player claims to have video evidence that can prove that umpires were wrong in the entire episode of the controversial ‘timed out’ dismissal in yesterday’s World Cup Match.

Angelo Mathews gave screenshots of what the Sri Lankan all-rounder claimed ‘video evidence’ to prove umpires’ fault in giving him ‘OUT’. It was one of the most bizarre incidents in international cricket. Mathews was given ‘timed out’ after an appeal by Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hassan.

What Transpired?

It happened in the 25th over of the Sri Lanka innings. Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hassan had got Sadeera Samarawickrama out with the second ball of his over. Mathews walked in to the crease. However, before taking his guard, Mathews realised that the strap of his helmet was broken and he asked for a new helmet without taking the umpires’ permission. Meanwhile, the Bangladesh fielders, who were watching all these, appealed for a ‘time out’ against the batsman.

After discussing at length, umpires Marais Erasmus and Richard Illingworth gave Mathews a ‘timed out’ dismissal. The former Sri Lankan skipper was evidently disappointed and angry. When entering the dugout, he flung his helmet up in the air and threw his bat and gloves away. Mathews became the 1st cricketer in the history of international cricket to have received a ‘timed out’ verdict from the umpires. The incident has become a subject of never-ending and heated debate.

What do the laws say?

According to the laws of cricket, Shakib and his teammates were not wrong in appealing against Mathews. The law clearly states that the batsman must be ready within three minutes of the last dismissal in order to face the first ball. The timing is reduced to two minutes in world cup matches. The playing condition mentions no equipment malfunction as a possible excuse to the batsman.

Should Shakib have withdrawn his appeal?

It was later disclosed that the on-field umpires asked Shakib twice but the Bangladesh skipper chose to stick to his decision. In such a situation, should the umpires have taken into consideration the batsman’s broken strap and given Mathews the benefit of doubt?

Fourth umpire clarifies, claiming Mathews was timed out before the strap of his helmet broke

Fourth umpire Adrian Holdstock clarified the entire issue and disclosed that Mathews had already been past the allotted time (i.e. 2 minutes) before the batter had problems with his helmet strap.

“ICC World Cup playing conditions supersede the MCC laws of cricket. When it comes to the timed out, at the fall of a wicket, or even retirement of a batter, the incoming batter has to be in position and ready to receive the ball within two minutes, or his other partner to receive the ball in two minutes,” Holdstock explained in an interview with former West Indies pacer Ian Bishop.

“We have certain protocols where the TV umpire at the fall of the wicket, monitors the two minutes. And he will then relay the message to the on-field umpires. And in the instance this afternoon, the batter wasn’t ready to receive the ball within those two minutes, even before the strap became an issue for him,” the fourth umpire added.

“Yes, that’s correct, the two minutes had already elapsed before he had received the next delivery,” he explained after being asked by Ian Bishop about the timings.

“According to laws, the fielding captain initiated the appeal to Erasmus who was the stand-in umpire that he wanted to appeal for timed out. Just after the strap came loose, the fielding captain appealed for time out.

“As a batter, you need to make sure you have all your equipment in place, in order to make sure you get here. Actually, you have to be ready to receive the ball within two minutes – not get ready or prepare to take your guard. Technically, you should be there within 15 seconds to make sure all these things are in place before you actually receive the ball,” he said.

Mathews refutes the clarification, saying he has evidence to prove umpires wrong

However, Mathews refused to accept the fourth umpire’s clarification. He made his point of view clear on social media.

“4th umpire is wrong here! Video evidence shows I still had 5 more seconds even after the helmet gave away! Can the 4th umpire rectify this please? I mean safety is paramount as I just couldn’t face the bowler without a helmet,” Mathews wrote on X (formerly Twitter) in response to an ICC article regarding the reactions on the dismissal.

“Proof! From the time catch was taken and the time helmet strap coming off,” Mathews wrote in another response with the screenshots of the time difference from the moment Sri Lanka lost Samarawickrama’s wicket and Mathews was standing on the crease.

Video Credit : Bishraj Rawat

Mathews was timed out before facing the ball. He did not try to put a lid on his frustration in the post-match press conference. The ex-skipper promised that his team would provide more ‘video evidence’ in support of his claims.

“Within two minutes I was there. We have video evidence. We will put out a statement later on. We have video evidence, footage, and everything was looked at. I’m not just coming and saying things here. I’m talking with proof.

“So, we have the video evidence where from the time the catch was taken, and then from the time I walked into the crease, I still had five seconds after breaking my helmet. So, we talk about safety of the players – you guys tell me if It’s right for me to take my guard without my helmet on? It’s just pure common sense.

“That’s why I think the umpires also had a bigger job at the time, because they could have at least gone back and checked. So, we talk about player safety. And a wicketkeeper for the spinner is not – they don’t let him keep without his helmet. So how can I take my guard without my helmet? It’s a complete equipment malfunction,” Mathews added.

Charith Asalanka hit a century and helped Sri Lanka post a respectable score of 279. Shakib’s brilliant knock of 82 runs just off 65 balls and Najmul’s 90 helped Bangladesh register a comfortable 3-wicket victory in 41.1 overs