Excessive sunlight stops play during Napier ODI between India and New Zealand
Shikhar Dhawan's vision was obstructed by sunlight at McLean Park. © AFP

In one of the more unique interventions during an international cricket match – though not the first time, as this article highlights – play during the first ODI between India and New Zealand was interrupted due to excessive sunlight.

During the 11th over of India’s chase at McLean Park, Shikhar Dhawan could not spot a ball on the pads from New Zealand quick Lockie Ferguson and immediately spoke to the umpire while pointing to the sky. It was soon revealed that Dhawan had difficulty spotting the ball owing to the resulting glare, and the two on-field umpires, Shaun Haig and Shaun George, convened. The match was then put on hold as the players and match officials waited for the sun light to diminish. (ALSO READ: Shikhar Dhawan is second fastest Indian to 5000 ODI runs)

This occurrence is apparently not uncommon in Napier, the primary export sea port for north-eastern New Zealand. A domestic T20 match was held up last week on account of harsh sunlight owing to the time where the sun sets over the top of the stand McLean Park. Locally, this is termed a “sunstrike”.

During a Test match between England and West Indies in 1995, the umpire Dickie Bird famously called off play due to excessive sunlight. In more recent years, a T20 match in England between Kent Spitfires and Sussex Sharks was delayed by nearly 30 minutes on account of sunlight reflecting off a building and blinding the batsmen.