Sunday, June 23, 2013

English move base, Argies stick to JB..

Argentina training at the Taman Daya Stadium Sunday morning.

THE English did not take any chances when they moved  their camp to Kuala Lumpur, but the Argies did not seem to  mind the haze in Johor Baru as they trained for the World  League Semi-finals yesterday morning.
    The World League starts on Saturday, and with the top- three teams assured tickets to the World Cup next year, the  hazy conditions could turn the situation chaotic if it con tinues.
    England, world no 4, arrived in Singapore on Thursday and  were supposed to play a friendly with the Singapore national  team there but with the Pollutant Standards Index (PSI)  hovering around 400, they stayed indoors instead.
     However, the readings dropped to about 63 yesterday, and  the Argentine team found no qualms about training at the  tournament venue, the Taman Daya Stadium.
   In fact, the Argentine side even played a friendly yesterday  evening with Malaysia Junior World Cup side, coached by K.  Dharmaraj.
    But England moved to KL, and conducted their first  training session at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil on  Saturday, and head coach Bobby Crutchley is happy the  squad finally found some playing time.
     “We lost two days of training as we were scheduled to play  the Singapore national squad. The player’s health comes first  and we could not carry on as the pollutant index was very  high.
   “This is a physically challenging sport, and to play five  games in nine days under those conditions is certainly asking  for trouble.
    “But for now, we need to continue with training and that is  why we opted to come to KL and hope the conditions improve  in the next few days and the tournament will be able to run  smoothly,” said Crutchley.
     England are in Group B with Malaysia, Pakistan and South  Africa while in Group A are Germany, Argentina, Japan and  South Korea.
     The situation is being monitored closely and according to  the organising secretary Manjit Majid Abdullah: “The PSI  index on Thursday went as high as 380. But the situation has  improved tremendously over the last two days.
     “We expect some thunderstorms over the next few days  which will clear the haze to a much lower level.
  The PSI reading at 5.40pm, yesterday at Taman Daya was  70.
   The International Hockey Federation (FIH) is being up dated daily on the situation.