Lightening sends players scurrying off the pitch

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Lightening sends players scurrying off the pitch

Ipoh (Malaysia), Apr 29 (PTI) Lightning accompanied by

the 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 today.

The lightening has been occurring daily for the past

fortnight.

The 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 on lightening to avert any threat to the

players and officials on the pitch.

As the Indian and English players ran off the pitch and

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 yesterday said he was hoping that

the games do not get affected.

India are scheduled to play four of their 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.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.