Asian giants to resume hockey battle

Published Mar 04, 2013 04:54pm

The tour is expected to improve sporting relations between both the countries. -File photo by AFP

LAHORE: Pakistan's hockey team will tour India next month after a nod from New Delhi for the first five-match series between the South Asian rivals in nearly seven years, official said Monday.

The tour is expected to improve sporting relations between both nations following the Pakistan cricket team's India visit in December - the first series after a gap of five years.

India had suspended all sporting ties with arch-rival Pakistan after the 2008 attacks in Mumbai.

Officials from Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) and Hockey India met on the sidelines of an Asian Hockey Federation meeting in Malaysia last week before finalising the tour.

PHF secretary Asif Bajwa hailed the revival of the series as “a big step”.

“It will help field hockey of both countries and will give fans of both countries a good opportunity to witness exciting hockey,” he told a press conference.

Pakistan will cross the border next month and play matches in the cities of Ranchi, Lucknow, Delhi, Mohali and Jalandhar between April 5-15.

The Indian team will pay a return visit and play five matches in Lahore, Faisalabad, Karachi and Sialkot from April 23, said Bajwa.

The two teams are also due to face each other in the Azlan Shah hockey tournament to be played in the Malaysian city of Ipoh from March 9-16.

Pakistan and India last played a bilateral hockey series in 2006 - three matches in each country. Pakistan won three and lost one while the remaining two were drawn.

Both countries have won 11 Olympic hockey titles between them and ruled the Games arena for decades, with India winning eight and Pakistan three.

But both have slumped at the international level in the last few years as Pakistan finished a poor seventh at the London Olympics last year where India ended at their worst 12th and last.

India's snooker team is also due to visit Karachi to play a series from March 7-10.


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Comments (7) (Closed)


Michael Warner
Mar 05, 2013 02:33am
Pakistan and India are not the only asian giants left in hockey. Now South Korea, Malaysia, japan and China have also defeated the so called Asian giants in the recent past. So with the trend in hockey the way it is played today, every one is giant and in Asia all teams are giant. Now, even teams like Bangladesh and Oman are improving rapidly and becoming tigers of Asia. If there is any animal left the other teams are becoming them. Oh stop it, just a little humor. Good Luck Pakistan hockey team.
Syed-S
Mar 05, 2013 05:35am
Are you sure, they will come to play on the return leg, and not cite the problems?
Arun Nair
Mar 05, 2013 07:01am
This is not in the best of interest of India's internal security. This event will be called off. Nothing against Pakistan but, India needs to first ensure its internal security rather than anything else!!!!!!!
K G Surendran
Mar 05, 2013 07:32am
GREAT NEWS! It will do a world of good for hockey in the subcontinent, which as the report concludes is at its lowest ebb besides improving hostile relations between us. Fact that the Indian snooker team is visiting Pakistan is also welcome in this engagement process.
jav4444
Mar 05, 2013 08:36am
The writer should have also mention while giving statistics that Pakistan has won the world cup 4 times, the only countary to do so, as compared to India's one!
The Real Facts
Mar 05, 2013 11:56am
Both countries have won 11 Olympic hockey titles between them and ruled the Games arena for decades, with India winning eight and Pakistan three.
The Real Facts
Mar 05, 2013 11:57am
Postponed