The third Test between India and Sri Lanka at the Ferozshah Kotla saw the game being halted for 16 minutes due to ‘poor air quality’, with Sri Lankan players sporting air masks on the field. However, this wasn’t the first time that a cricket game was brought to a standstill because of an unusual reason.
We present to you five weird instances when cricket games across the world were stopped temporarily.
A Championship match between Kent and Lancashire at Old Trafford in June 2007 came to a halt when fire engines came to the grounds to douse a fire that had started in the dressing room after a pot of gravy was burnt. The pavilions were evacuated after fire engines responded to the alarms that were set off by the smoke from the gravy.
Palam’s pitch invasion
A fresh incident. Just last month, international cricketers Gautam Gambhir, Ishant Sharma, Rishabh Pant and their Delhi teammates survived a major security scare during their Ranji Trophy match against Uttar Pradesh, as a youngster drove his car on to the pitch at the Palam Grounds. Gambhir barely escaped being knocked down when the car took a sharp turn on the pitch
In a first of its kind incident, a Delhi resident, Girish Sharma drove his WagonR in full speed inside the stadium and entered the field of play upon finding that no guard was stationed at the Air Force stadium gate. The game could resume only after a thorough inspection of the pitch was done by the umpires who declared that ‘no harm had been done’.
Multiple games have been paused due to dogs, pigs etc. However, a Test match in 2007 between England and Sri Lanka at Kandy was halted when bees flew across the field. The umpire then lay on the ground to save himself and the players followed suit. Play resumed shortly thereafter.
To celebrate the golden jubilee of the BCCI in 1980, a Test match between India and England was played. But because of a total eclipse of the sun, the match, being held in Mumbai, was brought forward to the second day, compensating for Day 3, which back in the day was known as “Rest Day”. This was done keeping in mind BCCI’s concern for the spectators as they did not want to subject the crowd to the eclipse.
“It was an anticlimax,” wrote Bob Willis. “The sky only slightly darkened mid-afternoon.” Some matches in the UK had delayed starts on August 11, 1999 when there was an eclipse in the morning.
A Hampshire cricket match at the Rose Bowl cricket ground in 2011 saw play being stopped for 20 minutes after a ‘concerned’ person reported the presence of a white tiger in the gold field next to the ground. Police helicopter surveillance revealed that the ‘tiger’ was actually a stuffed toy.