Monday, November 6, 2023

Sri Lanka’s Angelo Mathews Makes Cricket History with First ‘Timed Out’ Dismissal


Title: The Curious Case of ‘Timed Out’ Dismissal in Cricket: A Closer Look at the Rule


Cricket, often referred to as a gentleman’s game, is known for its complex rules and unique dismissals. One such dismissal that rarely occurs but can leave fans scratching their heads is the ‘timed out’ dismissal. In a recent match between Bangladesh and Mathews, the Sri Lankan batter was dismissed ‘timed out’ upon Bangladesh’s appeal that he failed to take strike within two minutes. Let’s delve deeper into this intriguing rule and understand its significance in the game.

Understanding the ‘Timed Out’ Dismissal:

1. The Rule and Its Purpose:

The ‘timed out’ dismissal falls under Law 31.7 of the Laws of Cricket, which states that a batter must be ready to take strike or be in position to receive the next ball within two minutes of the previous dismissal. The purpose of this rule is to maintain the flow of the game and prevent unnecessary delays caused by a batter’s lack of readiness.

2. The Two-Minute Countdown:

Once a dismissal occurs, the on-field umpires start a two-minute countdown. During this time, the incoming batter must enter the field and be ready to face the next delivery. Failure to do so within the stipulated time allows the fielding team to appeal for a ‘timed out’ dismissal.

3. Umpire’s Discretion:

While the rule is clear about the two-minute timeframe, it is ultimately up to the umpire’s discretion to determine if a batter has failed to comply. Factors such as genuine reasons for delay, injuries, or equipment issues may be taken into account before making a decision.

Controversies Surrounding ‘Timed Out’ Dismissals:

1. Rare Occurrence:

The ‘timed out’ dismissal is one of the rarest forms of dismissal in cricket. It requires a perfect storm of circumstances for a batter to be dismissed in this manner. As a result, it often catches players, spectators, and even commentators off guard.

2. Criticism and Debate:

Some critics argue that the ‘timed out’ rule is too harsh, as it penalizes batters for factors beyond their control, such as lengthy celebrations by the fielding team or delays caused by the umpires themselves. Others believe that it serves as a necessary deterrent to ensure the game’s pace remains intact.

3. Historical Instances:

The ‘timed out’ dismissal has occurred only a handful of times in international cricket. Notable instances include Geoff Boycott’s dismissal in 1977 and Ramnaresh Sarwan’s dismissal in 2009. These rare occurrences have added to the intrigue and mystique surrounding this unique form of dismissal.


The ‘timed out’ dismissal is a fascinating aspect of cricket that adds an element of unpredictability to the game. While it is rarely invoked, it serves as a reminder to batters about the importance of maintaining the flow of the game. The rule ensures that players are ready to face the next delivery promptly, preventing unnecessary delays and keeping the game exciting for both players and spectators.

As cricket continues to evolve, it is essential to strike a balance between maintaining the spirit of the game and adapting to modern demands. The ‘timed out’ dismissal, though controversial at times, plays a crucial role in achieving this balance. It encourages batters to be prepared and ready, contributing to the overall efficiency and fairness of the game.

So, the next time you witness a ‘timed out’ dismissal on the cricket field, remember that it is a rare occurrence that highlights the intricacies of this beloved sport.

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