In a first, a cricket match was stopped not due to rain or poor light, but due t Sun! Yes, you read that right. On Wednesday, the first ODI between India and New Zealand in Napier was stopped due to bright sunlight being straight into the batsman's eyes.
Play was interrupted when the sun made it difficult for the batsmen to spot the ball, leading to an interruption that has never been seen in international cricket before.
"The setting sun is directly in the eyes of the batsmen. So we got to consider the safety of the players, umpires. So we have decided to suspend play until conditions improve. This is the first time in my 14 years I have seen something like this happen on a cricket field. Good news is we have 30 minutes extra time. We are hoping to be back in 30 minutes and it will still be a 50-over game," explained umpire Shaun Haig.
Normally, the stadiums around the world are built keeping in mind the positioning of the sun. However, it wasn't the case with McLean Park, which is positioned East-West, unlike the other stadiums where the pitch faces the North-South direction.
“It was disappointing we couldn’t stick with Kane and get more of a total on the board, but credit to India’s bowlers. Hopefully we can pick up some more wickets & put some pressure on.” - Ross Taylor on @skysportnz #NZvIND pic.twitter.com/bTg4oRG0v2— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) January 23, 2019
Stoppages due to sun have been witnessed in the past here during the dometic competitions, and reportedly, also in few English grounds, but none of them were international matches.
"We had talked about it in the pre-series chat. It's something different," said New Zealand star batsman Ross Taylor.