Old Trafford Ashes Test is halted in bizarre circumstances

Old Trafford Ashes Test is halted in bizarre circumstances after Marnus Labuschagne and David Warner complain of light reflecting off unoccupied plastic seats.

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Manchester United’s famous Old Trafford is the venue of the 14th over as England battle Australia. Old Trafford has hosted Tests since 1884 and remains a particular venue with a rich history.

What happened

Play on Day 1 of the fourth Ashes Test in Manchester was halted in bizarre circumstances shortly after Marnus Labuschagne complained of being disturbed by sunshine reflecting off some unoccupied seats.

Old Trafford host the 4th Test
Old Trafford host the 4th Test

Halfway through the 14th over at Old Trafford, the Aussie batter signaled to the umpires an issue was behind the bowler’s arm at the James Anderson End.

The play was stopped as the umpires sought a solution to the issue at the James Anderson End. Several plastic seats reflected sunlight directly into Labuschagne’s eyes, much to his irritation.

Old Trafford Test is halted
Old Trafford Test is halted

The issue appeared to originate from some seats in front and below a big white screen in front of the old pavilion.

Drinks were taken while Stuart Broad directed fans up to the back row, where the sunlight appeared to be reflecting off the bolts and bases of the seats.

How it was solved?

Ground staff taped some of the bolt’s bases to minimize the glare before play resumed after a short break as the sun disappeared behind the clouds.

The unscheduled break appeared to disrupt Warner’s rhythm, with the Aussie opener departing shortly afterward after nicking behind off the bowling of Chris Woakes for 32.

Scene at the Man United' s stadium
Scene at the Man United’ s stadium

Warner had started well but played a needlessly aggressive shot as Woakes floated one just wide off stump slightly short of a length, with Jonny Bairstow gratefully accepting the nick.

Broad had notched his 599th Test wicket earlier by removing Usman Khawaja LBW for 3 in the fifth over.

England won the toss and elected to bowl in a Test they have to win to keep the Ashes series alive, while Australia will return the urn if they avoid defeat in Manchester.  

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