Hockey Asia Cup 2017: Rain, waterlogged pitch to play spoil sport in India vs Pakistan match?
What’s the story?
The crunch match between arch-rivals India and Pakistan in the Super 4 stage of the Hockey Asia Cup 2017 is under threat of being called off after torrential downpours in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh.
In case you didn’t know…
The arch-rivals have already faced each other last week in the group stage of the tournament, where India came out 3-1 winners, to end up at the top of Group A. Although Pakistan have managed to qualify for the Super 4s despite that loss, they find themselves in a spot of bother, as they are currently at the bottom of the second round-robin stage.
The top two teams qualify to the final, and Pakistan need to win by at least two goals against India, and hope that South Korea and Malaysia play out a draw, in order to qualify. India, on the other hand, will book themselves a spot in the summit clash if they can avoid a defeat by three goals.
Heart of the matter
Bangladesh is a country that sees a lot of rainfall, and it is no surprise that the capital city is currently experiencing heavy downpours. Hockey itself, is a sport that can be played even under rain. However, the problem lies with the fact that the torrential rains have caused water-logging on the pitch.
According to Accuweather, Dhaka is set to experience rains till around 4pm today, after which the downpour should stop. This bodes well for the fiercely contested game, which gets underway at 5pm IST. However, a waterlogged pitch could pose huge problems.
While hockey is a sport that can be played in the rain, a waterlogged pitch brings about a lot of problems. Firstly, it is much more difficult to move the ball about, when there is excess water on the field. To add to that, slippery puddles could increase the injury risk for players. More so, because astro-turf can turn out to me more slippery than natural grass in wet conditions.