5 strange reasons for which cricket matches have been halted in the past

Deepak Panda

Kohli and Dhawan walking off the field as play was stopped due to excessive sunlight

India were right on course for a dominant victory in the first ODI of the recently concluded series against New Zealand, when the game was stopped for quite an unusual reason. During the 11th over of India's innings bowled by Lockie Ferguson, Shikhar Dhawan complained of discomfort caused by the sun's rays.

The umpires asked the players to walk off the field and play resumed half an hour later. This was the first instance of play being stopped due to excessive sunlight.

However, there have been instances of matches being delayed or paused due to even weirder reasons. Here we look at 5 such reasons:

1. Late delivery of food

During the Bloemfontein Test of the Bangladesh tour of South Africa in 2018, the start of the second session of the first day was delayed by 10 minutes as the delivery of Halal food meant for the touring team had got delayed.

Not just the players, even the Bangladeshi journalists had to wait to get their share.

Later it was confirmed by the officials that the delay was due to wrongly printed menu given to the caterers for the Bangladesh team. As a result, all subsequent sessions were pushed forward by 10 minutes.

2. Burnt toast

During the game between New South Wales and Queensland in the Sheffield Shield Cup 2017-18, the game was halted for about 30 minutes as the fire alarm rang at the Allan Border field in Brisbane.

New South Wales required 18 runs to win when the incident happened. Panic ran through the whole stadium and fire trucks arrived in no time, only to realize that the alarm had been set off due to a burnt piece of toast.

It was Nathan Lyon who was the culprit, overdoing his toast which set off the fire alarms. Eventually, the officials gave permission to go ahead and the game was completed.

3. Bee attack

Players stay flat on the ground as a swarm of bees enters the ground

In 2008, the third ODI between South Africa and Sri Lanka was halted for over an hour after a swarm of bees arrived on the field. To protect themselves from a possible bee attack cricketers as well as the umpires lay flat on the ground for quite a while.

This was not the first time bees had interrupted a game of cricket. A bee attack halted another game between the two sides during Sri Lanka's tour of South Africa in 2017, when the Proteas were in their pink jerseys.

Recently, a game between India A and England Lions was halted due to a bee attack in Kerala. The match was paused for 15 minutes and the incident left some spectators injured.

4. Car taking a wrong turn

A Ranji Trophy match between Delhi and Uttar Pradesh in the 2017-18 season was brought to a pause due to car driven onto the pitch by a drunk man, who completely ignored the attempts of players and officials to stop him.

The man was eventually caught by the officials and handed over to the police, and the pitch was declared playable by the referee.

The major security breach resulted in a halt of 20 minutes, and the day's play was extended by 20 minutes to compensate for the lost time.

5. Total solar eclipse

A special Test match between India and England was organized in Mumbai in 1980 to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of BCCI. However, the game could not start on the second day and the scheduled rest day was used due to a total solar eclipse.

Ian Botham, who took 6 wickets on Day 1, scored a hundred on the third day and then picked up 7 more wickets in the second innings as England won the game.

Though the sky only darkened slightly mid-afternoon, the day's play was called off by BCCI keeping the spectators' health in mind.

Apart from these five, there have been other reasons such as the running of a mouse and a pig on the pitch, missing bails, burnt gravy and many more which have resulted in delays or halts in cricket matches.