Bizarre cause of cricket match delay
Cricket delays are not uncommon, but rarely has a match been interrupted because the weather was too good.
The third T20 between New Zealand and Pakistan at McLean Park on Tuesday was delayed for five minutes when the sun impeded the batsmen's vision.
During the 12th over of New Zealand's innings in Napier, Black Caps batsman Glenn Phillips explained to the umpires it was difficult to see the ball with the sun setting behind the bowler's arm.
Therefore, the officials and players rested for several minutes until the sun dropped behind the grandstand.
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"For me that was a little big niggly, and for me and (teammate Devon Conway) starting to get underway, I didn't think it was a great time to lose a wicket because of the sun," Phillips told Spark Sport.
"We don't like to make excuses, but for us in this situation of the game, we'd rather keep our momentum going. That's a big positive we've managed to get off for a little bit."
Cricket can find issues with anything, right now it is the Sun. #NZvPAK— Nikhil 🏏 (@CricCrazyNIKS) December 22, 2020
Sun has stopped play at Napier! Reminds me of cricket in Rawalpindi, where there used to be a 10-15 mins break, even in Tests, due to dazzling sunlight. #NZvPak— Mazher Arshad (@MazherArshad) December 22, 2020
McLean Park is infamous for such interruptions - during an ODI between New Zealand and India in January 2019, the match was delayed for half an hour while teams waited for the lighting to improve.
The bizarre issue is caused by the east-west alignment of the ground's pitch, while most wickets run north-south.
"There is a precedence set at this ground as well. It's not like they're doing something crazy," former New Zealand batsman Mark Richardson explained on Spark Sport.
"What happens, you can see the McLean Park stand where it's got 'McLean Park' written on it. The sun comes down and it's just sitting above the stand on the roof, but it also drops down and it starts shining at a lower level through the windows at the back of the stand - and that can cause some major issues as well. It's a quirk of this ground.
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"But there really should've been something (done) to manage this, a structure added on in the knowledge they're going to get these night games here at McLean Park.
"They should've done something about it, they had time to do it."
New Zealand managed 7/173 from their 20 overs, with Conway plundering 63 from 45 balls.
Pakistan seam bowler Faheem Ashraf was the chief destroyer with the ball, claiming 3/20 from four overs.
Originally published as Bizarre cause of cricket match delay