The first ODI between India and New Zealand was temporarily halted for the rather bizarre reason of sunlight being in the batsmen’s eyes and impeding their vision. South African umpire Shaun George, while admitting that he has never seen such an occurrence in his 15-year-long career, said that there is a provision for such a situation and the players were aware of it.
“The setting sun is the eyes of the players and we need to think of the safety of the players as well as umpires,” George said. He also said the move to go off was initiated by the umpires. “There was an awareness of it by the players but they didn’t appeal. The good news is we have an extra 30 minutes, so we should be back in 30 minutes and it will still be a 50-overs match.”
As bizarre as the situation may be, it is not the first time that it has happened. Here are four other notable instances of good light coming in an unwanted direction hurting the game.
England vs West Indies (1995)
Earlier in January, bad light stopping play and causing early Tea had caused quite a ruffle on social media during the final Test between India and Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground. In 1995, it was quite the opposite that led to umpire Dickie Bird calling for an early end to the second session of the first day of the fourth Test between England and West Indies at Old Trafford, and it wasn’t even a natural occurrence. Apparently, there was a green house in the practice ground adjacent to the stadium and it was reflecting sunlight into the ground and impeding with the players’ vision. It was something that happened quite a few times at Old Trafford in Country cricket and the pitch has since been reoriented.
SuperSmash T20 tournament; Canterbury and Central Districts (2019)
Like Old Trafford, McLean Park in Napier has seen these stoppages a few times before, most recently being a domestic T20 match between Canterbury and Central Districts. Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Doug Bracewell and Matt Henry, all of whom are part of the New Zealand ODI team playing in the series against India, were part of that game.
Yorkshire vs Derbyshire; Friends Provident Trophy (2007)
You couldn’t see anything. If the guy had hit it back at me then it would have hit me in the face. So we went off and listened to some crazy tunes on the radio and watched the X-Factor: Graeme Swann
The Friends Provident Trophy was a short-lived domestic one-day domestic tournament in England. Derbyshire were chasing a target of 251 and their innings at the County Cricket Ground in Derby. The innings was into 20th over when the batsmen complained that they could not see the ball when the bowling was from the City End. The game was stopped for 55 minutes and the Duckworth-Lewis method had to be employed on resumption.
The London Stadium
This is not an instance of a particular match being affected but it is of a stadium being robbed of a chance to host World Cup games. The London Stadium may be known to Premier League fans as the home of West Ham United. For those who follow athletics, it was called the Olympic Stadium when it was the flagship during the 2012 Olympics. and as the one where Usain Bolt ended his career in the 2017 IAAF World Championships. It would have been known to cricket fans as the new stadium in England that hosted a few World Cup matches had it not been for the setting sun. It was stated that this natural, day-to-day phenomenon would render one part of the stadium unusable for playing and broadcast purposes.