Zimbabwe cricket September 18, 2013

Guy Whittall's close encounter of the reptilian kind

How Guy Whittall spent the night with an eight-foot crocodile and lived to tell the tale

Look what's under the bed: Guy Whittall had an unexpected guest
Look what's under the bed: Guy Whittall had an unexpected guest © Twitter/Guy Whittall

Guy Whittall, the former Zimbabwe allrounder, put up an uninvited guest for a night earlier this week. The house guest followed the rules of etiquette too, remaining quiet, not putting the family out, not even snapping at the feet dangling invitingly in front of its nose ... A well-behaved, eight-foot, 165kg Nile crocodile, it was, which spent the night inches away from Whittall at the Humani Ranch, the Whittall's game reserve in southeastern Zimbabwe.

The crocodile had made its way into Whittall's house from a nearby river and, presumably, spent the night under his bed. It was only discovered by a housemaid in the morning, who understandably screamed bloody murder as Whittall breakfasted in the kitchen. "The really disconcerting thing about the whole episode is the fact that I was sitting on the edge of the bed that morning, bare foot and just centimetres away from the croc," Whittall said later. "It came from the Turgwe River, which is a couple of kilometres from the house. They often wander about the bush, especially when it's cold and raining. I think he liked it under the bed because it was warm."

Whittall called in his co-workers at the reserve and the croc, after a bit of wrestling, was returned unharmed to the wild.

Nikita Bastian is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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