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Sri Lanka’s Angelo Mathews becomes the first batsman ever in international cricket to be TIMED OUT… as he wasn’t ready to face his first ball two minutes after the last fall of wicket

The World Cup descended into acrimony as Sri Lanka’s Angelo Mathews became the first player in 146 years of international cricket to be given ‘timed out’.

Mathews was about to take strike in the 25th over of his side’s match against Bangladesh in Delhi when he stepped away to fiddle with the chinstrap of his helmet.

That persuaded Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan to appeal to the umpires on the grounds that Mathews had contravened Law 40.1.1, which says the striker has to be ‘ready to receive the ball’ within three minutes of the previous wicket – though that drops to two minutes in the World Cup playing regulations.

Marais Erasmus, the experienced South African official, twice asked Shakib if he wanted to withdraw the appeal. Shakib declined, insisting: ‘I’m serious.’ A furious Mathews stormed off, hurling his helmet and bat by the boundary, before describing the incident as ‘disgraceful’ and accused Bangladesh of ‘stooping down to that level’.

But, Shakib – who was named player of the match after taking two wickets and scoring 82 as Bangladesh won by three wickets – said: ‘One of our fielders came to me and said if you appeal now he will be out.

Angelo Mathews became the first international cricketer ever to be timed out on Monday Angelo Mathews became the first international cricketer ever to be timed out on Monday

Angelo Mathews became the first international cricketer ever to be timed out on Monday

‘It’s in the laws. I don’t know if it’s right or wrong. I feel like I was at war: I had to take a decision to make sure my team wins.

‘If it’s in the rules, I have to take those chances.’

Up in the commentary box, the former Pakistan fast bowler Waqar Younis said the dismissal was ‘against the spirit of the game’.

Dale Steyn, the former South African quick, tweeted: ‘Well, that wasn’t cool.’ Australian Test opener Usman Khawaja called it ‘ridiculous’.

But reserve umpire Adrian Holdstock said: ‘The batter wasn’t ready within those two minutes even before the strap became an issue. 

‘You need to make sure all your equipment is in place. You have to be ready to receive the ball in two minutes, not just take your guard.’

Mathews, though, insisted Sri Lanka had video evidence he had arrived at the crease inside two minutes. He added: ‘We are not talking about mankading or obstructing the field. This is pure common sense and bringing the game into disrepute. It’s absolutely disgraceful. You need to respect the game, we are all ambassadors of this beautiful game.’

Mathews' helmet broke in chaotic circumstances and he was unable to secure a new one before his two-minute timeframe ran out. Bangladesh's appeal was then upheld by the umpires Mathews' helmet broke in chaotic circumstances and he was unable to secure a new one before his two-minute timeframe ran out. Bangladesh's appeal was then upheld by the umpires

Mathews’ helmet broke in chaotic circumstances and he was unable to secure a new one before his two-minute timeframe ran out. Bangladesh’s appeal was then upheld by the umpires

The cricketer appeared to reason with the umpires and Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan The cricketer appeared to reason with the umpires and Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan

The cricketer appeared to reason with the umpires and Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan

The dismissal is so rare that only six instances have taken place in all first-class cricket, including Andrew Jordaan, who couldn’t get to Eastern Province’s game against Transvaal because the roads were flooded, and Tripura’s Hemulal Yadav, who was busy chatting to his coach on the boundary during an Indian domestic match.

Mathews almost got instant revenge during an ill-tempered Bangladesh chase of 280, having Shakib dropped on seven at short cover.

When he eventually had him caught off the leading edge, Mathews tapped an imaginary wristwatch.

The bad blood spilled over as the Sri Lankans refused to shake hands with their opponents, while their captain Kusal Mendis said he was ‘disappointed’ by the umpires’ lack of ‘common sense’.

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