November 25, 2008

England in India 2008-09

Yellow-black, yellow-black, yellow-black ...

Jamie Alter

The bees have license to travel, it seems. Last month, a swarm of pesky bees swooped into the Feroz Shah Kotla and forced Indian and Australian players, as well as the two umpires, to hit the deck and lie flat until the horde passed over. Now it has been reported that organisers of the India-England ODI in Cuttack are worried that bees may be a nuisance to spectators at the Barabati Stadium.

The reason for concern is that honeycombs have been a part of the gallery structures for over a decade. Last January, during an Orissa versus Assam Ranji Trophy match, players and umpires had to dive for cover when a swarm of bees invaded. Bee collectors were duly called in to help out. However, it is understood that the honeybees have multiplied on the outer roof of galley No. 5 and a giant honeycomb has been formed.

“We are taking steps on priority basis to get rid of the honeycomb to prevent possible bee invasion during the match," said OCA secretary Asirbad Behera.

Google tells you that a large enough swarm of bees could theoretically generate as much lift as a jet liner. Here's hoping they don't train their attention to the good folks in gallery No. 5, or that a Virender Sehwag six doesn't disturb that beast of a honeycomb. No funny 'bees'ness, this.

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Jamie Alter is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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