Sun stops play after dinner. Sounds bizarre? But this is what happened in the first India-New Zealand ODI at the McLean Park Wednesday.
The play was interrupted when the sun made it difficult for the batsmen to spot the ball, leading to an interruption that has rarely been seen in international cricket before.
The decision to halt play was taken keeping the players' safety in mind and sunstroke considerations, 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.
Stoppages due to the sun have been witnessed in the past here during the domestic competitions, and reportedly, also in few English grounds, but rarely in international matches.
"We had talked about it in the pre-series chat. It's something different," said New Zealand star batsman Ross Taylor.
Normally, the cricket pitches are positioned in the North-South direction to avoid this scenario, but at McLean Park, the pitch is East-West facing.
"We are trying to find out ways to deal with this problem," said Napier's mayor Bill Dalton while talking to the official broadcaster.
Chasing 158, India were cruising at 44 for one in 10 over when play was stopped.
Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan were batting on 2 and 29 respectively.
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