Play was delayed for 37 minutes in the first ODI between the Black Caps and India – because it was too sunny.

Yes, you read that right. Cricket, the sport which runs for the hills whenever there's the threat of rain, or if light dims ever so slightly, also takes a break if it's too sunny.

In this case, it's a legitimate concern, and there's a long-standing reason why. When sun goes down over the top of the stand of Napier's McLean Park, it can cause "sunstrike", where the resulting glare from the sunset makes it hard to batsmen to see.

The occurrence happened in a recent domestic Super Smash Twenty20 clash at the venue on Saturday as well, and with limited cloud cover, there was always a threat of delays during the evening - a unique experience in this part of the world.

Advertisement

Fans unleashed the Mexican Wave as they waited for the shadow to slowly move across the wicket, with the Indian innings eventually resuming with one over lost due to the delay.

Black Caps batsman Ross Taylor said he was aware of the phenomenon, but that today was the first time he had experienced it while playing.

"I think they talked about it [sunstrike] in the pre-series chat. So we knew it was happening and obviously a few times during the Super Smash it has happened as well. But I've played a few times here at McLean Park and this has never happened while I've played. So it's something different.

"Probably the only one from our team who [didn't] want to be out there is the fielder down on that fine leg and third man boundary."

This was the first game played at McLean Park in nearly four years. Drainage issues caused farcical scenes in 2017 when an ODI against Australia was abandoned despite hours of sunshine.

It was the second year in a row a game was called off due to a wet outfield. $4.9 million later, and a new turf was ready for its first game, but there were still delays, thanks to the sun.

The delay could add further questions about McLean Park's status as an international venue, with grounds such as Mount Manganui's Bay Oval and Nelson's Saxton Oval pushing for more international cricket.

There is one more international game being played at McLean Park this summer, with Bangladesh visiting for a one-dayer in Napier on February 13.

Advertisement