Rain may have put a dampener on the second day of the Black Caps test against England, but a surprise from touring British pop star Ed Sheeran brightened the drizzly afternoon for a group of cricket fans.
Sheeran - who is in Auckland to perform three consecutive sold-out shows, beginning tonight, at Mt Smart stadium - popped into Eden Park yesterday, meeting both the New Zealand and England teams in their respective dressing rooms during a rain break.
Sources told the Herald while he was at the venue Sheeran spotted the flag of his favourite football team Ipswich Town in the stands and decided to shout the fans holding it a round of beers.
"10 beers to the guys with the ITFC flag on the far side of the field. Say they're from Ed Sheeran and he's watching with them," Sheeran told catering staff, according to sources.
The musician's visit was described as "low key" by sources in the vicinity. He spent about 10 minutes with the England team who were described as "pleased to see him".
The 27-year-old chart-topping singer-songwriter also met Black Caps captain Kane Williamson.
"It was fantastic to meet him, a humble guy who enjoys his cricket. It was cool for him to come along today and watch a little bit," said Williamson, who is a part-time guitarist.
Fellow New Zealand players Trent Boult and Matt Henry also chatted to Sheeran.
The team gave Sheeran a Black Caps shirt.
"Thanks for joining us at our first Day-Night Test @teddysphotos. Good luck with the tour and we hope you enjoy the shirt!," the Black Caps said in an official Instagram post.
Sheeran posted a photo of himself watching the game from a corporate box to Instagram.
Earlier, Williamson notched up his 18th test century to surpass Martin Crowe and Ross Taylor and become the leading New Zealand test centurion.
The third day of the test starts at 2pm at Eden Park.
Sheeran is set to take to the Mt Smart Stadium at 8.45pm. Gates open at 4pm.