The Sun Stops a Cricket Match


Cricket is a game that is played in the open and is most affected by the elements. There have been innumerable times when a game has been stopped due to rain or bad light. This time however the game was stopped due to the Sun! Yes, you read that right. The 3rd T20 between New Zealand and Pakistan was stopped due to the Sunlight hitting players eye-level. The batsmen had difficulty watching the ball which is why the game was stopped for a few minutes before the sun went further down.

A quirk in stadium design

This match was being played in Napier International Cricket Stadium where the pitch is aligned towards North East- South West, unlike other stadiums where the pitch is aligned North-South. Due to this, Sunlight is directly towards the batsmen’s eye level when batting in the evening. A similar incident happened in 2019 in a match between New Zealand and India.

In this satellite view, the pitch is visibly aligned towards NE-SW direction

The umpire in the game clarified, “The setting sun is in the eyes of the players and we need to think of the safety of the players as well as umpires,” he 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.”

A similar design quirk in the Dubai International Cricket makes catching difficult.

Other notable reasons for match stoppage

The most notable reason for the stoppage of a match in India was in 2017 when a game of cricket between India and Sri Lanka was stopped due to air pollution.

Sri Lankan players donning mask in a match at Delhi.

In a game between South Africa and England, the Umpire stopped the game as he was not able to hear nicks due to the crowd playing the drums too loudly. Some games have also been stopped due to a swarm of bees flying over the ground. Players could be seen lying on the ground to steer clear of a bee bite.

Players lying on the ground to dodge bees

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