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When sun stopped play in Napier

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When sun stopped play in Napier

 

Kohli and Dhawan walk off after the sunstrike

‘Sun holds up play’ isn’t a headline usually associated with cricket but that was the case during the first ODI between New Zealand and India at the McLean Park in Napier.
In the 10th over of India’s chase, an over after the dinner break, there was a stoppage of play for 30 minutes due to the setting sun which was directly in the batsman’s line of sight. Shikhar Dhawan, the batsman on strike had a word with the umpires, who then decided to stop play until the sun set considering player safety. An over was lost as a result of the delay in resumption, with India being set a revised target of 156 from 49 overs.
Cricket pitches are usually positioned in a North-South direction but the East-West facing Napier pitch led to this problem. “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,” said umpire Shaun George.
This isn’t the first time that Napier faced such a situation with the ‘sunstrike’ causing an interruption. Earlier this month, on January 19, the Super Smash match between Central Districts and Canterbury had a brief stoppage in play due to the sun while a T20I between New Zealand and Bangladesh in January 2017 was also held up due to the same reason.
The sun getting in the eye of the batsman has also happened in other cricket matches – the first day of the Old Trafford Test between England and West Indies in 1995, an ODI between Pakistan and New Zealand in Gujranwala in December 1996, and a Friends Provident game between Derbyshire and Nottighamshire in June 2006 being a few other such instances.

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