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What is ‘Timed Out’ rule in Cricket ? All you need to know

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The concept of a ‘timed out’ dismissal had never been implemented in international cricket prior to its recent occurrence. This rule had remained dormant until Angelo Mathews became the inaugural batsman to be dismissed in this unique manner. Such instances had only occurred on six occasions in first-class cricket.

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Angelo Mathews’ ‘timed out’ dismissal in the ODI World Cup match between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in Delhi raised both controversy and a demand for clarification regarding a rule that had never been applied in international cricket before. In this incident, the former Sri Lankan captain required more than two minutes to get into his batting stance due to issues with his helmet. During this delay, Bangladesh’s captain, Shakib Al Hasan, lodged an appeal, which was subsequently approved by the on-field umpire.

On Monday, during a cricket match, Angelo Mathews from Sri Lanka achieved a unique distinction as he became the first cricketer ever to be declared ‘timed out’ in the history of the cricket.

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Players and umpires engaged in a discussion when Angelo Mathews attempted to present his case, but ultimately, an out is an out. The umpires upheld their decision to time out Angelo Mathews. This incident sparked controversy in the cricket community, with some supporting the decision and others deeming it absurd.

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Reaction of Angelo and Shakib

During the press conference following the match, Shakib justified his appeal by asserting his legitimate right to request the wicket. Angelo Mathews conveyed his dissatisfaction with the verdict through social media and urged the ICC to ensure justice. He emphasized that the delay in facing his first ball was solely due to safety concerns, stressing the importance of using a proper helmet to avoid any risks while batting.

No other occurrences were as peculiar as this, where a batsman was dismissed without even having the opportunity to face a delivery. This incident took place on the grandest platform in cricket, the ICC ODI World Cup.

MCC law which explains the nitty-gritty of the ‘Timed out’ dismissal

MCC law 40.1 (Out – Timed Out):

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Rule 40.1.1 states, following a wicket’s dismissal or a batter’s retirement, the incoming batter must be prepared to receive the ball or for the other batter to be prepared to face the next ball within a time frame of 3 minutes, provided that Time has not been called. Failure to fulfill this condition will result in the incoming batsman being dismissed, known as ‘Timed out.’

Rule 40.1.2 states, if there is a prolonged delay without a batsman taking their position, the umpires will follow the procedure outlined in Law 16.3, which deals with umpires declaring a result in a match. In this context, the commencement of this procedure will be considered as the conclusion of the initial 3-minute period mentioned earlier.

When a ‘timed out’ dismissal occurs in cricket, the bowler is not acknowledged for the wicket. This situation is akin to a run-out, where the fielder responsible for executing the run-out does not receive credit for the wicket. In the case of a timed-out dismissal, the wicket is not attributed to the bowler, but rather results from the incoming batsmans failure to reach the crease within the prescribed time limit.

Current Law for Time-out

  • The duration allocated for the incoming batter to prepare differs based on the specific match conditions. The standard time mentioned in Law 40 is 3 minutes, but this is reduced to 2 minutes for Test cricket and one day international cricket. In Twenty20 cricket, the time is further decreased to 90 seconds, and a designated area on the field, similar to certain other team sports like football and rugby, is often provided to allow the incoming batters to quickly reach the wicket when a wicket falls, avoiding being timed out.
  • Unless the “extended delay” protocol has been activated, a batter cannot be declared out until their turn to bat has started: the umpires are unable to make a decision on any appeal for being timed out until a player enters the field.
  • The “incoming batter” refers to any player who has not yet batted in the match. Unlike other sports, there is no specific order in which players must bat. The team can choose any player who hasn’t batted yet, even if a batting order has been decided beforehand. However, until a player actually steps onto the field, they can be dismissed if the opposing team appeals for it. Thus, the captain can strategically send a weaker player or someone who is injured (or previously retired hurt) onto the field if they know that a better batter will be able to join soon.
  • If no players are available to take the field due to reasons such as absence, injury, illness, suspension, or ejection as a result of a conduct offense, then the players will not be given an “out” due to being timed out. Instead, the innings will be considered complete, and the players’ names will be noted as “absent ill/injured/hurt” (or retired in the case of a conduct offense).

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