Angelo Mathews became the first international cricketer to be given ‘timed out’ in the history of the game today (November 6), generating a huge reaction on social media.

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Bangladesh appealed for the dismissal after Mathews took more than the two minutes stipulated in the ICC 2023 Men’s World Cup playing conditions to be ready to face his first ball. Following Bangladesh’s appeal, umpires Marais Erasmus and Richard Illingworth had no choice but to apply the law, which Mathews was in breach of. Although he had arrived to the middle with time to spare, Mathews’ helmet strap broke as he prepared to face his first ball. He signalled to the dressing room for a change but before it could be brought out, Bangladesh had launched their appeal.

Speaking on commentary at the time, Waqar Younis stated that the dismissal was “against the spirit of the game” before saying “if there was something wrong with the helmet you can maybe give an extra couple of minutes”. Mathews remonstrated briefly with Erasmus and Shakib Al Hasan before walking off the field looking visibly angry, hurling his helmet in frustration as he crossed the boundary line.

Discourse immediately broke out online from pundits and ex-players, with opinion split over whether the incident was in fact within the spirit of the game.

There were mixed opinions over whether Shakib and Bangladesh should have appeal for the dismissal at all, or whether Mathews should have waited to fix his helmet until after he faced his first ball. Had he waited for Shakib to bowl his first ball, there would have been no repercussions for asking for a helmet to be brought out before the next. Given Shakib is also a spin bowler, there would have been limited danger to Mathews’ safety.

To add insult to Mathews unwanted record, he could be facing punishment for expressing his frustration when he left the field.