India’s Akashdeep Singh was adjudged player of the tournament but the team had to share the Asian Champions Trophy with Pakistan after the much-anticipated summit clash was abandoned due to heavy downpour. Heavy rain delayed the start of the final on late Sunday night and even though the skies relented later, the damage had already been done by then.
The turf was completely waterlogged because of thunderstorm and heavy showers and after discussion with both the coaches of India and Pakistan, the tournament director decided to call off the match and declare both the teams as joint winners. India won the toss of coin and earned the right to take home the trophy of the biennial tournament for the first year. It will be given to Pakistan for the next year.
Since the Indians took home the trophy, the tournament gold medals were presented to the Pakistani players. Asian Hockey Federation Chief Executive Dato Tayyab Ikram said gold medals will soon be sent for the Indian players. Akashdeep was adjudged Player of the Tournament while P R Sreejesh was declared best goalkeeper. Pakistan’s Abu Bakkar Mahmood was named Emerging Player of the Tournament while Malaysia’s Faisal Saari emerged highest scorer.
India remained unbeaten in the tournament having topped the round robin stages with 13 points, courtesy four wins and a draw out of their five games. Pakistan ended the round robin stages on the second spot with 10 points. India had earlier defeated Pakistan 3-1 in the round robin stage.
Malaysia claimed the bronze medal by prevailing 3-2 in the penalty shootout against Japan after the two teams were tied 2-2 in regulation period. It was both India and Pakistan’s last international outing before the season-ending FIH men’s World Cup to be held in Bhubaneswar from November 28 to December 16.
India and Pakistan had won the title twice each before the current edition. India came into the tournament this year as defending champions having won the last edition in 2016 after their title triumph in the inaugural edition in 2011. Pakistan won the title twice in 2012 and 2013 besides finishing runners-up in 2011 and 2016. India too have finished runners-up once in 2012.