Azlan Shah Cup warm-up curtailed due to lightning

Lightning and seasonal showers disrupted players’ warm-up session ahead of the opening match of the 26th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup between India and Great Britain on Saturday.

All matches have been pushed back by two hours.   -  S. S. Kumar (Representational Image)

Lightning and seasonal showers disrupted players’ warm-up session ahead of the opening match of the 26th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup between India and Great Britain here on Saturday.

The lightening has been occurring daily for the past fortnight. Tournament director Josh Burt decided that the India-Great Britain match will now start two hours later than originally scheduled. The new start time will be 6 pm local time (3.30 pm IST).

All matches have been pushed back by two hours. Since the introduction of artificial turfs, hockey is no longer affected by rains but matches are stopped at the slightest sign of lightening to avert any threat to the players and officials on the pitch. As the Indian and English players ran off the pitch, the start of the game was deferred. Organisers said they were bracing up for frequent disruptions during the week-long tournament.

Heavy showers and lightening have been a feature of the tropical weather this season and the Indian team experienced it during its training sessions over the past few days. Coach Roelant Oltmans on Friday said he was hoping that the games would not be affected.

India is scheduled to play four of its five round-robin league matches in the afternoon, exactly when dark clouds tend to drench the pitch at the Ipoh hockey stadium. In 2010, the organisers had to declare India and South Korea as joint champions due to flooding of the pitch on the day of the final.