Bees Stopped Play! Irish cricketers duck for cover to escape stinging swarm

Cricketers in Ireland were bowled over on Wednesday as they were forced to throw themselves to the ground to escape a marauding swarm of bees.

Play was stopped during the Cricket Ireland Inter-Provincial Twenty20 Trophy match between Munster Reds and the Northern Knights at The Mardyke in Cork in the 11th over of the first innings.

The swarm of stingers sent Reds batters, Knights fielders, and spectators scrambling for cover - delaying the match by over an hour as a beekeeper had to be summoned to remove the belligerent insects.

Explaining the unusual stoppage, a spokesperson for Cricket Ireland said: "All the players and umpires lay down on the ground as the swarm came across to the pavilion and they swarmed around the side of the clubhouse before eventually settling on the fence in front of the pavilion.

"Obviously it was too dangerous to continue with play due to the fact a ball could hit the hive and the bees could attack, so play was suspended."

The reason why the bees swarmed has left officials stumped - but help was at hand as a specialist was called in to remove the bees from the field.

"The club contacted a local beekeeper," the spokesperson said. "After about 40 minutes or so Mauro Dias from Buzz of Nature (Bee rescue specialists) arrived and managed to secure the Queen bee and put her in a box and waited for the family to join her. After a break of an hour and a half, the bees were brought away."

After the delay, the match was reduced to 12 overs per side, with the Knights left buzzing after running out the winners by seven wickets - chasing down a target of 129 with eight balls to spare.