The second T20I match between India and South Africa played at Barsapara Stadium in Guwahati witnessed a few records. But the one reason that the match will be most remembered for will be a non-cricket one. The match had to be stopped for some time after the ground had an unwelcome visitor — a snake. The match remained disrupted until the groundsmen whisked away the reptile.
While the incident was unusual, this is not the first time that a snake stopped play. A king cobra created a chaotic situation when the England team toured Colombo in 2013.
“The snake came out of nowhere from a small unnoticed pit to scare Wayne Parnell at the extra cover region. It then slithered into the square leg region,” said a PTI report. Renowned cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle posted on Twitter: “That is a first for me. A second snake on the ground. But the staff seemed prepared! Quick pick-up and off!”
While bad light and floodlight failure have been some of the common reasons for matches to get disrupted, here are some of the unusual incidents that forced the play to stop.
The Sunset Angle
When the Indian team toured New Zealand in 2019, Shikhar Dhawan while playing a patch could not see the bowler due to the sun setting at an awkward angle at 7 PM, directly impacting the sight of the batsman at Napier’s McLean Park. The match was stopped for more than half an hour to let the sun set and the floodlights to switch on. This wasn’t the first time, however. In 2017, when Bangladesh played Kiwis on the same ground, the match had to be held up for more than 15 minutes for the same reason.
Bees swarming cricket grounds during international matches have stopped play several times. But the 2017 match in Johannesburg is one that is going to be remembered for long. The match remained stalled for 65 minutes. “It was an annoying break,” then skipper AB de Villiers had said at the post-match presser.
During the match, some of the bees had even settled in South Africa wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock’s helmet for some time. Proteas pacer Chris Morris then came up with the idea of troubling the bees with a fire extinguisher, but even that didn’t work. South Africa was playing Sri Lanka in the match. This happened once again in the 2019 World Cup when the same teams were in the contest.
Players ducking bees on the ground
Car On Ground
In 2017, a Ranji match between Delhi and Uttar Pradesh at Palam Air Force Ground was brought to a standstill after a major security breach that allowed a man to drive his car over the ground and the pitch. Later, the man reportedly claimed that he didn’t see any security, and that he was lost. International players like Suresh Raina, Rishabh Pant and other top players were part of the teams.
Taking to Twitter, Suresh Raina wrote: “Very disturbing to see our Ranji Trophy game being interrupted in this fashion today! Thankfully all players are safe.”
A Long Lunch
During the Day 1 second Test between South Africa and Bangladesh in October 2017, the team lunch time got extended, and that eventually delayed the match. There was apparently a delay in the delivery of Halal food for the Bangladesh team.
Lunchtime was extended for 10 minutes. The delay was due to confusion the caterers serving the Bangladesh team were given a wrong menu, it was reported.
Bombing By Germans
During World War II in July 1944, a match being played between the Army and the Royal Air Force of England had to be stopped after the area around the Lord’s stadium was bombed by the Germans. It was reported that then England opener, Jack Robertson, hit the first ball to six after the resumption of the match to mark the celebration of escaping death.