Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent
Cricket South Africa (CSA) has apologised for the worldwide break in transmission during the ODI between South Africa and New Zealand in Paarl but does not have an explanation for the blackout. Instead, host broadcaster SuperSport International will investigate the reasons and report back to CSA as soon as possible.
"The loss of transmission was due to unforeseen circumstances beyond the control of CSA," the organisation said in a statement. "The matter is currently being addressed by our host broadcaster to avoid a repetition of what transpired. SuperSport International will investigate the matter and furnish CSA with a detailed report."
Television coverage was first interrupted after 7.1 overs and repeated breaks accompanied by a power cut punctuated the first 25 overs of New Zealand's innings. A source at the ground told ESPNcricinfo that the initial problem was caused by the broadcaster's generator malfunctioning.
The subsequent electricity outage occurred when the broadcaster allegedly attempted to use the stadium power, the capacity of which was quickly exhausted, according to the source. The entire media centre operated in the dark for a period of time. SuperSport told ESPNcricinfo that while they are waiting for a detailed report from people in the outside broadcast facilities they understand the power cut at the stadium came first and then a technical problem in the van. They too apologised for the interruption.
It was during the power cut that Brendon McCullum was given out lbw off Rory Kleinveldt's bowling. The delivery struck him on the back foot, after angling in. McCullum spoke to the on-field umpire about referring the decision as New Zealand still had their review in hand.
McCullum was then informed DRS could not be called upon because there was no electricity*. "I'd have referred it," McCullum said. "I was disappointed that we had to deal with the fact that the power was on and off, the use of DRS was on and off, the scorecard wasn't even functioning at one time."
CSA said all relevant parties were informed that the technology could not be used until the problem had been rectified. "During the break in transmission no DRS was available to be utilised by the match officials and the umpires did inform the players on field as such," their statement read.
"For both teams it is a bit of an inconvenience," McCullum said. "Paarl is a beautiful place to play cricket, so I'm not saying that needs to be addressed but some sort of back-up plan for future grounds that are susceptible to power going down might not be a bad option."
Repeated cuts followed before the situation stabilised in the second half of New Zealand's innings. Paarl is not the only ground to have been affected by power cuts this summer. The Twenty20 against New Zealand on December 23 in East London was interrupted when one of the floodlight pylons stopped working.
Both venues are regarded as "smaller grounds", a definition imposed on them because they are unlikely to host Test matches (although Buffalo Park has done so in the past against Bangladesh) and they are on a rotation system to host other internationals. With CSA's aim to spread the game throughout the country, both have hosted matches for a second successive summer but problems like these may put that status at risk.
* January 20, 07.00am GMT This article has been updated after Brendon McCullum's press conference