Fierce arch-rivals India and Pakistan were on Sunday declared joint winners of the fifth edition of the Asian Champions Trophy after the much-anticipated summit clash was called off due to heavy downpour.
Heavy rain since evening delayed the start of the final and even though the skies relented later, but by then the damage had already been done. The turf at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex was completely waterlogged because of the 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.
After almost 30 minutes of no play, Hockey India tweeted: "India and Pakistan have been declared as joint winners of the Hero Asian Champions Trophy 2018 due to the Final being forfeited."
India and Pakistan who have both won the title on two occasions had to share the honors this time around. It was the 176th meeting between the two sides with their last meeting being in the group stages of the tournament which India won 3-1.
Both the arch-rivals were made to toil hard enroute to the final, India managed to scrape past Japan with a scoreline of 3-2 in the first semi-final, while Pakistan edged Malaysia 3-1 in a penalty shootout after being held 4-4 after the end of the four quarters.
The finale of the 2018 Asian Champions Trophy was set to be the perfect stage for Pakistan to avenge their group-stage loss and the loss of the bronze medal play-off at the 2018 Asia Games. However, it looks like the Men in Green will have to wait a little longer to exact revenge after the rain gods had other plans.
India, thus maintained thier unbeaten streak 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.
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.