BENGALURU: On Monday, the second T20I between West Indies and India was delayed by almost three hours because the luggage of the teams had not arrived. In 1994, a similar incident happened when the West Indies were in India for a tri-series. The ODI between both the teams at Vizag started late because the playing kits of cricketers didn’t arrive in time.
The New Indian looks at some of the matches which were delayed or stopped due to outlandish or completely bizarre reasons:
1) Nathan Lyon’s ‘Burnt Toast’: In 2017, the Sheffield Shield match between New South Wales and Queensland in Australia was delayed because fire alarms went off in the Stuart Law stand where players of both the teams, scorers and the media were housed. All the people sitting in the stand were evacuated and the play was suspended by the umpires.
It turned out that the alarm was set off by the burnt toast of Nathan Lyon. “The toast popped up first and I wasn’t happy so I put it back down and I got carried away watching the cricket,” he said. Due to this rather waggish incident, the play was stopped for half an hour. After the match resumed, Lyon’s team galloped to a six-wicket win.
2) ‘Sunny Day’: We often see cricket matches being halted by the spells of rain but during Day 1 of the Old Trafford Test between England and West Indies, excessive ‘sunlight’ impelled umpires to stop the play. The England bowlers bowled with gusto and skittled West Indies out for 216 to shore up the chances of their team which was trailing 1-2 in the series.
However, the tea was taken 20 minutes early on the opening day because the excessive sunlight was causing disturbance to the batsmen. The reason behind such bright sunlight was the greenhouse adjacent to the ground that was reflecting light on the ground. The umpire Dickie Bird held a long discussion with his fellow umpire Cyril Mitchley and both of them decided to take an early tea.
Later, the greenhouse was covered with black sheets to thwart blinding reflection. Ironically, during the same Test match, the match was stopped a few times due to bad light. Moreover, streakers – both male and female – waylaid the ground many times during the match and caused many interruptions. England went on to win the rather dramatic Test and squared the series.
3) Car Invasion: Though it might seem a peculiarly funny incident, it was one of the most glaring cases of a security breach during a match in which international cricketers were playing. In 2017, during a first-class Ranji Trophy match between Delhi and Uttar Pradesh at Palam A stadium, a man accidentally drove his car on the pitch and caused an uproar.
The man, Girish Sharma, apparently lost his way in the Palam Stadium complex and rode his Wagon R on the ground. The main gate of the Airforce ground only allows entry of cars after thorough checking but it remained open with the security, not in their position. Thankfully, the man did not have any ulterior or spiteful motives.
Indian cricketers such as Ishant Sharma, Gautam Gambhir and Rishabh Pant were a part of the Delhi team and were present at the ground when this incident happened.
4) Late Food Delivery: In 2018, during the Bloemfontein Test between South Africa and Bangladesh, the start of the second session on Day 1 was delayed because Bangladesh players received their food rather late.
Bangladesh wanted ‘halal’ food but they received the wrong order due to a print error in the food menu given to the caterers for the Bangladesh team. The ‘halal’ food was hence ordered and that caused the delay of 10 minutes.
5) Buzz of the Bees: In 2008, a large swarm of bees assailed the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium on Day 3 of the Test between India and Australia. This happened in the post-lunch session when Anil Kumble was bowling. Umpires Billy Bowden and Aleem Dar, 10 Indian fielders and two Aussie batsmen – Ricky Ponting and Matthew Hayden – laid flat on the pitch to protect themselves from bees.
Only Ishant Sharma, who was fielding at the fine-leg, remained standing. The master blaster, Sachin Tendulkar, covered his ears with a cap to keep bees at bay.
Later, in 2017, an ODI between South Africa and Sri Lanka was also halted for an hour after the invasion of bees at the Wanderers. The bee attacks on cricket grounds are quite common in England’s county circuit.