Cricket: Kock’s Knack to Wicket Keep and Bee Keep!!

A bucket of fizzy drink Coca cola was placed to lure and to trap the bees In the receptacle but was of no avail.


by Sinnathamby Sivanandan

( February 10, 2017, Melbourne, Sri Lanka Guardian) There was an unforseen security breach at “Wanderers” stadium in Johannesburg when Sourh Africa played against Sri-Lanka, the third and final One Day International test cricket march on 4th Feb 2017. The marauding bees marred the game.

The sentinels of the stadium were helpless when a swarm of bees in thousands invaded the arena. The radars did nor beep when the bees swiftly entered the security cordon. One ponders whether “Wanderers” security has to be beefed up to keep wandering bees at bay? Also whether the colorful plnk gear worn by the pompous Proteas to raise funds for breast cancer was the cause of attraction? The humble bees which otherwise are well be(e)haved or hived caused a confusion and panic.

The Wanderers stadium is known as the “Bullring” arena because of its intimidating atmosphere to the visiting teams, be it Cricket or Golf.

This time the threat was to every one the hosts, spectators and umplres alike. The esplanade was a hive of activity with 30,000 spectators watching and about 2000 bees swarming in the ground.

To the visitors were not new to Bees as they hail from a land flowing with milk and honey ruled by B’s. Past Presidents JRJ and MR were very good at B- Keeping. JRJ clipped the wing of the queen B stripping her civic rights and MR took the Freedom (party) out of Princess B and the drone B, the Crown Prince tipped to ascend the throne, was sent to King Kashyapa’s domain Sigiriya, to guard the Ferescoes from vandals and wasps exposed to stings, stripping him from the Tourism Minister portfolio in his cabinet.

The bees were first attracted by the abandoned plnk helmet of wicket keeper Quinton de Kock on the turf. He was wicket keeping while his helmet was gathering bees. Whether he had a hand and glove in bee keeplng is the big question! Bees soon clustered in uncontrollable number buzzing and ready to wreak havoc. The drones were droning with their stinger missiles causing an eerie feeling.The players made evasive ducks taking cover falling with bellies flat on the ground.

To the umpires the bees turned out to be vamplres, out for their blood. The number one rated umpire Kettleborough in full steam was with lid blown off and Holdstock at the other end was taking cover and stock of the situation. Both were wondering at Wanderers whether they could take cover under Duckworth and Lewis table, had the ODI ordeal prolonged and if the match was to be abandoned

A bucket of fizzy drink Coca cola was placed to lure and to trap the bees In the receptacle but was of no avail.

Ground staff in the In the frenzy adopted many improvised ingenious methods to vanquish the invaders or capture them alive but were beaten or bitten by the bees.

A bucket of fizzy drink Coca cola was placed to lure and to trap the bees In the receptacle but was of no avail.

Chris Morris from nowhere hurriedly brought a fire extinguisher and handed it to the groundsman but the smoke generated didn’t deter or defy the determined bees. They only temporarily dispersed the bees and disturbed the hornets’ nest which beemaranged!

A professional Bee-Boss Mr. Hefer offered his services to combat the menace, seeing this drama live in TV . Donned in his white overall and gumboots and armed with a home made honey comb made a beeline to Wanderers, without a ticket or any accreditation on seeing his gear and equipment, the security personnel reckoned who he was and provided ready access, almost ushering him in.

Lo and be(e) hold! the magic wand of Hefer at Wanderers worked much to the relief of the distressed spectators. Hefer became the focal polnt for about fifteen minutes and saved the day for the cricket enthusiasts. He received a roaring ovation and thunderous applause from everyone for a job well done. According to him it was a ‘day of fame’ for him before a record number of audience with live international coverage.

The play resumed after an hour of interuption. Though Dickwella got the sting off the ball by his valient knock of 79, Sri Lanka lost the last five wickets for 15 rums and were soon bundled out for 163 in 39.2 overs.

The sublimed lateral dive and the single handed catch of Duplessis off the bowling of Dwain Pretorius to dismiss debutant Madushanka at second slip was another stunner. That was the catch of the match to mark Duplessis 100th ODI career.

Dwaine Pretorius the Proteas bowler was victorious with a career best 3 for 19, and was adjudged the man of the match. Spectators are of oplnion, Bee Buster Hefer also could have considered for the award !!

With 18 overs to spare AB de villiers villifed the Srilankan bowling attack with an unbeaten 60 steered his team to win the series with 7 wickets in hand.

This is another historic memorable encounter that will be recorded in the Springboks Cricket Books for the progeny to remember.

This is not the first instance bees invaded the cricket arena. When spin maestro Murali surpassed the legacy of the legendary leg splnner Shane Warne, at Asgiriya on 4th Dec. 2007, against England, a swarm of bees invaded the ground with stinger missiles, after the sting of the ball was gone with the prolific ton of Kumar Sangakara. The umpires and players were forced to take cover on the ground. Murali established a record and created another Asgiriya chapter in cricket.

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