Napier: Sun stops play after dinner. Sounds bizarre? But this is what happened in the first India-New Zealand ODI at the McLean Park here, Wednesday.
Rain interruption in international cricket bringing the Duckworth-Lewis method into consideration is nothing new. But here it was the sun that troubled the batsmen by coming right in the line of their view, forcing play to stop for about half-an-hour.
Indian captain Virat Kohli said he has never experienced a sun-induced stoppage in his life. “Never in my life,” he said when asked about the halt due to which the target was revised by two runs and the match shortened by an over.
“It was funny. In 2014, I got out once with the sun in my eyes and this rule wasn’t there then,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
The decision to halt proceedings was taken after the dinner break of the day-night game, keeping the players’ safety in mind, on-field umpire Shaun George said.
“The setting sun is in the eyes of the players and we need to think of their safety as well as umpires. There was an awareness of it by the players (they didn’t appeal),” said the umpire.
New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson also took a light-hearted view on the situation. “It is hard to move the sun and hard to move the Grand Stand. So, we didn’t have much option and had to sit down a bit,” he quipped.