- Nasima Akter
6 Animals Who Invaded Live Cricket Games
Cricket matches are known for their memorable moments, whether it's a spectacular hit or comical antics from the players. Sometimes, these moments occur due to an unexpected interruption in the game. It's rare to find a live cricket match that hasn't been interrupted at least once.
With cricket matches, there is one form of interruption that’s happened more than a few times. That interruption is the appearance of an animal on the field. Yes, there have been more than a few incidents where animals from dogs to birds, and even a pig has made their way onto the field during a match.
Most of the time, these interruptions are taken in good fun before the animal is directed away from the field. It’s not something you would expect to happen every time, but it can be a funny moment to remember a match. Here are some of the moments where animals interrupt a live match:
A Double Interruption
During an ODI match between India and Australia in March 2023, there was not one, but two animals interrupting the match. The first interruption was by a dog during the third ball of the 43rd over when Australia was batting in the first innings. The canine provided quite a bit of entertainment as ground staff attempted to usher it away. Eventually, the dog chose to exit the field and fans clapped as the four-legged invader left.
The next interruption in the match was by an eagle. The birds of prey were searching for insects in the outfield. During the 42nd over of the game, one bird swopped down to collect an insect and ended up distracting a player.
A Bee Swarm
There have been matches interrupted by dogs and birds, but one match was made memorable via a bee invasion. In 2017, during the third ODI between South Africa and Sri Lanka, a swarm of bees decided to visit the field. The incident occurred during the 25th over and caused the game to stop. When the bees made their arrival, the Sri Lankan batsmen and South African fielders had to lie down on the ground and wait for the bee swarm to pass.
There was plenty of laughter going around as the staff figured out a way to get the swarm away from the field. During the wait, Proteas wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock entertained the crowd with a few pushups. Groundsmen soon lured the bees into a container and off the field through fire extinguishers.
A Cow Charge
A few cricket matches have seen their share of unique animal interruptions. For the Kerridge VS Mossley match in Cheshire Cricket League, their interruption came in the form of a cow. It was the 2017 league, and the cow didn’t seem to mean any harm. Then things took a hilarious turn for fans and players. The cow ran onto the field from the long-on boundary and charged toward a player standing at mid-on. The player moved out of the way, and the cow kept running.
Players kept moving around to let the cow pass, but it decided to make a stop. The cow spent some time on the field and then went past the deep mid-wicket fence, which is called Cow Corner. After a few minutes, the cow made their exit.
A Canine Thief
Some cricket matches have had a dog running around the field, but there was one match where the canine intruder decided the ball was their toy. What was the game? A match-up between the Civil Service North of Ireland (CSNI) Cricket Club and the Bready Cricket Club for the semi-finals round of the women's Clear Currency All-Ireland T20 Cup in 2021. The interruption happened during CSNI’s innings. The cameras were rolling, and out of nowhere, a dog ran onto the field and stole the ball when it was bowled.
The announcer, Heatley Tector, can be heard laughing as he comments on the situation, saying "the dog has the ball." Eventually, the dog was led away from the play area by its owner and gave up the ball. The International Cricket Council celebrated the dog's antics by naming it Dazzle and declaring it their honorary player of the month.
A Seagull Knockout
Birds are not an uncommon sight in certain games, but there are times when a bird gets involved in a game. In one match, a seagull got a close and personal encounter in a match. The match was a Big Bash League (BBL) match between Sydney Sixers and Perth Scorchers. At one point, the camera panned to a player with birds relaxing on the field behind them. When a batsman pulled the ball towards the midwicket boundary, the ball hit a bird on its way.
The bird was seemingly knocked out then a fielder picked them up and carried them outside the boundary. When it seemed like the seagull would be knocked out for the rest of the match, the next time a ball was bowled, the seagull surprised everyone. When the ball was heading in its direction, the bird came charging toward the ball. It did not stop there, the seagull waited in anticipation that the ball would come in its way.
A Feline Visitor
Cats are well known for doing what they want and that apparently includes checking out a cricket game. During an Indian Premier League (IPL) match between the Punjab Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2022, a cat was spotted during the first over of the second innings. They were pointed out by RCB skipper Faf du Plessis.
The cat was sitting on the sightscreen and the player asked the umpires to intervene. The whole scene was captured on camera and everyone was left bewildered by the unexpected visitor. When the umpires went to get the cat, the feline made their escape.
These are just a few of the funniest times that an animal interrupted live cricket matches. There are plenty of other sports where an animal interrupts a match, such as when a dog decided to play with a football.