Timed out is a method of dismissal in the sport of cricket. It occurs when an incoming batsman is not ready to play within three minutes of the previous batsman being out. It is very rare to be out in such a fashion, and has never occurred in any international match.
Law 31 of the Laws of cricket provides that an incoming batsman must be in position to take guard or for his partner to be ready to receive the next ball within three minutes of the fall of the previous wicket. If this requirement is not met, the incoming batsman will be given out, timed out, on appeal.
The "incoming batsman" may be any batsman who has not yet batted. There is no prescribed batting order in cricket. If no batsman has set foot on the field when the appeal is made, the batting captain may pick any player who has not yet batted as the one to be given out. As a result, if the next batsman was only slightly delayed, the captain would be expected to sacrifice his worst batsman—usually the No. 11.
If there is protracted delay in which no batsman comes to the wicket so that the umpires consider that the batting team is refusing to play, the umpires will award the match to the other team. If, however, no player comes to the wicket because all eligible players are unable to bat (e.g. through injury or illness) then they are not given out timed out; instead the innings is declared closed and 'absent ill/injured/hurt/dead' is noted next to those players' names as appropriate.
A new shortened version of cricket, Twenty20 cricket, stipulates that a batsman must be on the field within 90 seconds, rather than the three minutes specified in the Laws. As a result of this rule, rather than sitting in the pavilion, the batsman next in are positioned on a bench on the boundary rather like other team sports such as association football and rugby.
The purpose of the law is to ensure there are no unnecessary delays to the game. It is easily avoided and it is very unusual for a batsman to get out 'timed out'. As of January 2011[update], there have been no instances of this type of dismissal in Test match or One Day International cricket and there have only been four instances in first-class cricket as a whole.
Batsmen dismissed 'timed out' in first-class cricket
- Andrew Jordaan - Eastern Province v Transvaal at Port Elizabeth in 1987–88
- Hemulal Yadav - Tripura v Orissa at Cuttack in 1997
- Vasbert Drakes - Border v Free State at East London in 2002
- AJ Harris - Nottinghamshire v Durham UCCE at Nottingham in 2003
"Timed Out" as a specific method of dismissal was added to the Laws in the 1980 code. It provided two minutes for the incoming batsman to "step on to the field of play". In the 2000 code, this was revised to three minutes for the batsman to "be in position to take guard or for his partner to be ready to receive the next ball". However, the first printed Laws of cricket, in 1775, already required the umpires "To allow Two Minutes for each Man to come in when one is out".
In 1919, Sussex cricketer Harold Heygate was given out by the umpire Alfred Street as "timed out" in a first-class County Championship match with Somerset at Taunton. The MCC, then in charge of the Laws, later ruled that the umpire was correct in ending the Sussex innings when Heygate failed to appear within two minutes, but that the batsman should be marked as "absent", which is how it appears in the 1920 edition of Wisden Cricketers' Almanack. Under present rules, Heygate would have been recorded as "absent hurt", and this is how his innings is now recorded in CricketArchive.
- MCC Answers to Questions on Law 31
- Karachi v Combined Services Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 1958/59 (Final) Scorecard
- This match was only recognised by Wisden as a first-class match in 2006, when matches played by non-white South Africans in the apartheid era were included in the record. Hence earlier lists do not contain this instance. See Setting the records straight, Wisden Cricketers' Almanack 2006
- Laws of Cricket 1980, Law 31
- Laws of Cricket 2000, Law 31
- Laws of cricket 1775
- See the CricketArchive Scorecard. Heygate was given out under Law 45 of the Laws of cricket, 1884 code - 1919 revision.
- Wisden Cricketers' Almanack
- The official laws of cricket