RAIN created havoc on the second day of the 11th Men Softball Asian Cup 2022 (World Cup qualifier) at the Yasumani Sports Complex in Shimanto City, Kochi as the opening Group B match between Philippines and Thailand has to be postponed to start later.

Initially, the opening game was about to begin after a 10 minutes delay (scheduled to begin at 9am), after Tournament Director See Kok Wooi and the local groundsmen, worked frantically but diligently to get the pitch in good playing condition after the overnight heavy rain wrecked havoc on the pitch.

The water logged pitch had the water drained out with workers using huge sponges to soak up the water and later strew sawdust, raked the pitch to make it even, before the lines were laid out.

Just when the umpire was about to call both teams on the pitch after a to the start, the heavens opened up again and it started to pour.

Workers rushed to cover the pitch with plastic sheet again.

While the rain has slowed down and is drizzling now, Softball Asia president, Datuk Low Beng Choo, has instructed See to let the dark rain clouds clear completely, before work to restore the field to conducive playing condition begins again.

“It is rather unfortunate that the weather is creating havoc today after it was perfect weather yesterday, although there was weather reports that it would rain,” said Low.

“We will just have to wait and hope for the best. At worst, we may have to stretch the fixtures to play under floodlights,” lamented Low.

Today’s weather report said that there will be rain in the morning, but can expect clear skies and a sunny day in the afternoon.

Philippines simply could believe their luck of having to further wait to start the tournament.

Philippines, drawn in Group B, where there only three teams (Singapore and Thailand) as compared to Group A which has four teams (Japan, India, Hong Kong and Chinese Taipei), did not have a game on the opening day yesterday.

Philippines play both their Group matches today.

“We were already to get on with our opening game, but it has started to rain again. We will just have to wait. Just hope the delay will not affect the players’ morale and temperament,” said assistant coach Jasper Cabrera.

Today, there are four games on the preliminary round fixtures, which will determine the  the top two teams in the two Groups who move to the Super round tomorrow.

The Super round league format will determine the top two teams to reach the final on Tuesday and also qualify for the World Cup in Auckland, New Zealand from Nov 26 to Dec 4th.