Rain, bad lighting and the promise of tea; such are the usual reasons for a stoppage, expected or otherwise.
In the idyllic - sparsely attended - world of County Championship cricket, yesterday's match between Surrey and Middlesex at London's Oval threw up something far more extreme.
Play suspended at the Oval on advice of security. Players have left the field after a crossbow bolt landed on the square..... pic.twitter.com/V5fJADvuKK
— Middlesex Cricket (@Middlesex_CCC) August 31, 2017
With the day's cricket drawing to a dreary end, the quick dispersal of all player's concerned caused some initial confusion amongst the two match commentators (listen below).
In true Superman fashion ("Is it a bird? Is it a plane?"), speculation as to what had occurred progressed rapidly:
What is that in the field of play? ... A meteor or something.
As the players quickly abandoned their posts and made for the pavilion, it was determined that a metal-tipped crossbow bolt had been shot onto the field of play.
Landing within a few metres of Surrey fielder Rory Burns, Surrey chief executive Richard Gould later suggested that such an instrument 'could very easily have killed someone.'
Although it has not yet been determined where the arrow came from, Surrey captain Gareth Batty offered this insight:
It was a pretty tasty arrows with a proper metal end. I did archery as a kid and that was not a normal archery arrow. ... It is a deadly weapon for sure, if it had hit someone it would have caused some serious damage. It just shows the world we live in.
Within minutes both the Police and an armed response unit had arrived in Kennington and began to evacuate the ground. There is as yet no confirmation of where the arrow came from or who may have fired it.