When Sourav Ganguly was almost 'timed out'

The controversial “timed out” dismissal of Sri Lanka’s Angelo Mathews in the World Cup clash against Bangladesh has grabbed a lot of headlines. Mathews became the the first cricketer to suffer the dismissal in the 146-year history of international cricket. The incident also brought memories of former India captain Sourav Ganguly narrowly escaping being timed-out during the third match of South Africa Test series at Cape Town in 2007.

India had lost two quick wickets in the second innings and Ganguly had to rush onto the pitch. The next batsman Sachin Tendulkar not allowed to take the field owing the time he had spent off the pitch while VVS Laxman was taking a shower.The timed-out rule in Tests is three minutes but South African skipper Graeme Smith did not appeal though Ganguly had exceeded the time limit. Rahul Dravid who was batting on the other end was seen wondering why there was a delay in the new batsman joining him in the middle.

Ganguly scored 46 runs in the second innings but India lost the match by 5 wickets. On Monday the during the Bangladesh-Sri Lanka ODI World Cup match at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi, Angelo Mathews found himself on the receiving end of this timed out mode of dismissal as he failed to assume his batting position within the stipulated time, primarily due to helmet issues. The MCC law requires the batter to be ready to face the next ball within 3 minutes of a dismissal, but the ICC World Cup 2023 playing conditions impose a stricter time limit of just two minutes. During this delay, Bangladesh’s skipper, Shakib Al Hasan, made an appeal, which was upheld by the on-field umpire.

Mathews came into bat after the fall of Sadeera Samarawickrama in the 25th over but was unable to secure his helmet strap tightly enough, an action which delayed the resumption of play.

Some former cricketers blasted the decision. Former South African fast bowler Dale Steyn writing on X, formerly Twitter, said: “Well, that wasn’t cool”. Ex-india batsman Gautam Gambhir, on ‘X’, said: “Absolutely pathetic what happened Delhi today! #AngeloMathews.”

Australian Test batsman Usman Khawaja also shared his opinion on the incident. “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. No different then a batsman getting to the crease then taking 3 minutes to face up,” he wrote on social media.

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Roy Walsh

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