A SWARM of bees stopped play during the Cricket World Cup in Chester-le-Street today.

Umpires, and players from South Africa and Sri Lanka were forced to lie on the ground as hundreds of bees invaded the Riverside Stadium.

Spectators watched on at the sight as the swarm was not interested in the stands.

Former England coach Paul Farbrace told BBC Test Match Special said: “Not one spectator was stretched or bothered, and yet all the players were on the ground.

“There must have been some people wondering what on earth was going on.

“If you're new to that game you'd go home going 'not only do they stop for a drink but halfway through the game they all lay down.

“Stressful game, cricket!'

The bees were eventually cleared with the help of the Durham groundsmen and a fire extinguisher.

It is not the first time bees have halted a match between the two sides.

Two years ago a swarm invaded the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg.