If one thing can be said with absolute certainty about cricket, then it would be that a game of cricket can be an encapsulation of unpredictable moments. If you have been following cricket for a while, then there would be numerous instances that left you awestruck and speechless with ''did I just see that?'' moments.
The history of the Gentleman's Game covers a wide range of unbelievable instances and a lot of memories. Just when you think that any future occurrences on a cricket ground can't be something that you have never seen before, the magic of cricket will cast its spell on you. The first game of the five-match ODI series between India and New Zealand that concluded recently is a proof of that when the match was halted on account of an unusual reason.
India’s chase was under progress. In the 11th over, Shikhar Dhawan complained to the on-field umpires that the scorching sun’s rays are causing discomfort to the batting pair as they are unable to spot the ball. After at-length discussions and considering the safety of the players involved, the umpires Shaun Haig and Shaun George asked the players to accompany them off the field. Play resumed half an hour later.
This incident made headlines in the cricketing world as it was something that the cricket fans are not used to witness. Play halts due to rain and fog are familiar but this time, it was something that left everyone scratching their heads.
There are a number of unusual incidents where bizarre external reasons resulted in halting the games. Let's take a look at a few of them.
#1 A Burnt Toast
A weird incident presented itself in the 2017-18 Sheffield Shield at Brisbane where the Queensland and the New South Wales were competing to advance in the Australian domestic tournament. With only 18 runs to win, NSW batsmen were going smooth but suddenly, fire alarms ranged in the stadium.
Panic ran throughout the stadium. Everyone thought that a segment of the stadium caught on fire. Game was stopped and fire-diminishing trucks arrived on the scene quickly. Little did everyone come to know that the alarms were set off due to a burnt toast.
It was later found out it was Nathan Lyon who over-cooked his toast and the smoke caused the fire alarms to go off. Play was halted for around half an hour but this funny incident gained grounds for a number of days.
#2 A car on the pitch
Seems unlikely, isn't it? It did happen!
This incident transpired at the Palam Ground in New Delhi back in November 2017 where a Ranji trophy game was being played between Uttar Pradesh and Delhi. Big-time players like Gautam Gambhir, Suresh Raina and Ishant Sharma were a part of the match.
On the 3rd day of the match, a man drove into the ground in his car and even took couple of rounds of the pitch before trying to leave the ground. It was found out that a gate of the stadium was directly connected to the main road and entry of cars was allowed after proper checking but the security was not in the designated position at that moment.
It provided the driver an uninterrupted entry inside the complex and instead moving towards the designated parking lot, he mistakenly took a detour. He was handed over to policemen after the incident. He cited that he entered into the ground unknowingly and after proper investigation by the Delhi police. he was left with a stern warning.
#3 A Toy Tiger
The day was May 21, 2011. Hampshire Cricket Academy and South Wills were competing at the Rose Bowl Nursery Ground, Southampton in the Southern Electric Premier Cricket League Division One match. South Wilts needed 27 runs in 43 balls to win but the match was brought to an abrupt halt after a spectator reported that a white tiger had been spotted at the adjacent golf course.
This news created panic and concern quickly. The cricketers and the golfers were escorted to safe places. Things were getting worse and at the Police came to the rescue. A team equipped with tranquilizer darts, nets and thermal imaging cameras arrived. A helicopter was called to spot the tiger.
Investigations and search operation started at the ground with thermal imaging cameras. The tiger was spotted but the cameras observed no bodily heat from the tiger. It turned out to be a life-size toy tiger.