Swarm of bees invade World Cup match as players and umpires hit the deck

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PLAY in the Cricket World Cup clash between Sri Lanka and South Africa was temporarily stopped today – due to bees.

(Pic: CRICKET WORLD CUP/GETTY)

Players joined the umpires in hitting the deck as the flying insects invaded the Chester-le-Street stadium in County Durham.

The bees swarmed the pitch midway through the 47th over of the Sri Lankan innings and appeared to centre around the batsmen’s crease.

The bumper crowds in the stands watched on in bemusement – unfazed as the players laid down on the grass amid the buzz.

(Pic: CRICKET WORLD CUP)

Former England coach Paul Farbrace, who commentated on the march for the BBC, said: “Not one spectator was stretched or bothered, and yet all the players were on the ground.

“There must have been some people wondering what on earth was going on.

“If you’re new to that game you’d go home going ‘not only do they stop for a drink but halfway through the game they all lay down!’ Stressful game, cricket!'”

(Pic: CRICKET WORLD CUP)

(Pic: SKY SPORTS)

This was not the first time a cricket match has been halted by a swarm of honeymakers.

In January an England Lion’s game against India in Kerala was stopped after a bee invasion as five people were taken to hospital for sting injuries.

But Durham is an unusual location for such an incident, as cricket grounds in warmer climates are the most vulnerable to bee attacks.

(Pic: CRICKET WORLD CUP)

(Pic: GETTY)

(Pic: GETTY)

Yet bizarrely the same teams in today’s match were also left unable to play on when bees swarmed over the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg in 2017.

Today’s bee invasion forced the players to hit the deck, a method which is considered the best defence as the insects pay less attention to prone objects.

The stoppage was short lived as Sri Lanka were soon bowled out for just 203 with three balls left to spare.

South Africa easily took advantage in their innings as they reached the number of runs required with nearly 80 balls left, winning by nine wickets.

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