Cricket World Cup 2023: MCC backs umpires decision in Mathews 'time-out' controversy

The former governing body of cricket, who took responsibility for creating the laws of the game, said the Sri Lankan should have drawn the umpires' attention to his broken helmet

By Reuters

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Sri Lanka's Angelo Mathews reacts after losing his wicket due to the time out rule. - Reuters File
Sri Lanka's Angelo Mathews reacts after losing his wicket due to the time out rule. - Reuters File

Published: Sat 11 Nov 2023, 3:42 PM

The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), custodians of the game's laws, said on Saturday that the umpires had made the correct call in declaring that Sri Lanka's Angelo Mathews had "timed out" in his side's World Cup clash against Bangladesh.

Mathews became the first player in international cricket to be dismissed for a time ruling after he failed to make himself ready within the stipulated two minutes to face Bangladesh captain and bowler Shakib Al Hasan, whose appeal led to Mathews' exit.

The chin strap of Mathews' helmet broke before he could take guard, and by the time a replacement helmet arrived from the Sri Lankan dressing room, the batter was judged to have overrun his time allowance.

Mathews subsequently called Bangladesh "disgraceful" and said the umpires lacked common sense while dealing with the "equipment malfunction" in the Monday match in Delhi.

The MCC said Mathews should have drawn the umpires' attention to his broken helmet instead of waiting for a new helmet to arrive.

"It appears that Mathews did not consult with the umpires, which a player would be expected to do when seeking new equipment," the MCC said in a statement.

"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."

Shakib rejected offers from umpire Marais Erasmus to withdraw the appeal and stuck to his guns when Mathews also asked him to reconsider.

Mathews said it was unsafe to face a bowler with a defective helmet but the MCC said the batter should have involved the umpires to resolve the issue.

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"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," it said.

Sri Lanka are out of the tournament with two wins from nine matches, and the International Cricket Council (ICC) has suspended their membership citing government interference in the running of their board.


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