Sultan Azlan Shah Cup Matches Postponed by 2 Hours Due to Rain

Lightning accompanied by the seasonal showers disrupted players’ warm-up session the Ipoh hockey stadium. 

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 at Ipoh, Malaysia on Saturday.

The lightening has been occurring daily for the past fortnight. The India-Great Britain match which was scheduled to begin at 1:30 pm (IST), commenced at 3:30 pm (IST).

The tournament director Josh Burt decided that all matches should be postponed 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 while warming up, the 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 was hoping on Friday 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.

(With inputs from PTI)