R Ashwin has weighed in the Angelo Mathews ‘Timed Out’ controversy, comparing it to an incident he was involved in during the Nagpur Test match earlier this year where he says he narrowly avoided a similar dismissal.

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Mathews became the first batter ever to be given out ‘Timed Out’ in the history of international cricket this week. After he arrived at the crease, his helmet strap broke meaning he was not ready to face his first ball within the allotted two minutes. Bangladesh captain, Shakib Al Hasan, appealed for the dismissal, and Mathews had to return to the dressing room.

Speaking on his YouTube channel, Ashwin said: “Mathews was really upset when he got out, rightly so. I mean, no one should get out like that, right? Everybody will feel bad when that happens. Not many teams will have that awareness to appeal for that. So, it looks like one is right and the other is wrong in this matter.

“Both Shakib and Angelo are right here. One person knew what the rule was, the other person said even though it was in the rule, he just asked if he could let it go since it was due to helmet malfunctioning. See, the affected party will definitely feel bad in this matter. But the one who won will be character assassinated and they have to prove who they are because of this. But both of them are right here. One is feeling bad, and the other is playing according to the rules.”

The incident in Sri Lanka’s penultimate match of the World Cup against Bangladesh ignited controversy, and the Sri Lanka players refused to shake hands with the Bangladesh side at the end of the match. There has also been criticism of Shakib’s decision to appeal by many prominent commentators online, including Bangladesh bowling coach, Allan Donald.

Ashwin went on to compare the incident with a near-miss in the first Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in Nagpur earlier this year.

“I don’t know if you remember the Nagpur Test against Australia,” Ashwin said.  “I went in as the night watchman in the first Test. I wanted to go slowly so that would be the last over and it will be stumps. But then, the umpire told me, “You came to the crease a bit late. Do you know that? If they had appealed, I would have given you out. I was really shocked.”

He also referenced an incident during the Sydney Test match in India’s 2021 tour of Australia, illustrating the safety concerns that could come from players being unable to ensure safety equipment is working properly to not exceed time constraints.

“In the Sydney Test, we were playing the mandatory last 15 overs,” said Ashwin. “One hour or 15 overs whichever comes later… Till then, the opponent can bowl in the final hour. Nathan Lyon was bowling from one end. From the other end, Starc, Cummins, and Hazlewood were steaming in. I got my chest pad. You know that you are not allowed to get water in the final mandatory hour of play. Because when a substitute enters the field, extra time will be eaten. So, even the glove is not allowed. But I got my chest pad.

“I informed the umpire that I should give the chest pad back and he said I was not allowed to give it back. Obviously, from my side, I needed my chest pad since it is for my personal protection. While playing the spinner, if the chest pad gets in the line not allowing me to play with soft hands… So, I was a bit scared.”

Ashwin is currently part of India’s World Cup squad, but hasn’t played a match since India’s first game of the tournament against Australia. India will play their final match of the group stage on Sunday, November 12 against the Netherlands.