Flight cancellation plays havoc with paddlers

Soon after the players' arrival at the Lokpriya Gopinath Bordordloi Airport at Guwahati, they were told that the flight to Aizawl will not take off and they will be sent only on Friday.

Group matches in the sub-junior and cadet boys and girls categories begins at 9 a.m. as per original schedule, followed by the main draw events.   -  Getty Images

Twenty-two paddlers were left in the lurch when Spicejet cancelled its flight (SG 3282) bound for Aizawl from Guwahati, citing “technical reasons.”

All the players, who arrived from Delhi and Mumbai by the airlines, were to take the connecting flight to Mizoram capital to participate in the ongoing 11Even Sports National Ranking (East Zone) Table Tennis Championships on Thursday.

But soon after their arrival at the Lokpriya Gopinath Bordordloi Airport at Guwahati, the players were told that the flight to Aizawl will not take off and they will be sent only on Friday.

In fact, group matches in the sub-junior and cadet boys and girls categories begin at 9 a.m. as per original schedule, followed by the main draw events the following day, which is also the concluding day of the six-day championship.

This unforeseen situation has led stranded players, some of whom accompanied by their parents, at Guwahati calling up Competition Manager N. Ganeshan and requesting him to reschedule the matches. “The TTFI has considered their request and we are starting the match at 2 p.m.on Friday,” said Ganeshan.

But he also admitted that this has not only put those players travelling to Aizawl in trouble but also the entire referee’s team, which included 40 Blue Badge, international and national umpires, who will have to sit through the night to complete the day’s schedule.

“We have to complete the championships the day after because all players and officials have their return bookings for Sunday morning and afternoon,” he said.