After winning the Asian Games gold medal, Pakistan hockey team's next major target will be the London 2010 Olympics: PHF —AFP Photo
After winning the Asian Games gold medal, Pakistan hockey team's next major target will be the London 2010 Olympics: PHF —AFP Photo

LAHORE: Pakistan will play a bilateral hockey series against Egypt early next year in a bid to bring international hockey back to the country, Pakistan Hockey Federation said on Tuesday.

“Egypt have agreed to send their team here in March 2011, after Pakistan hockey team’s visit to their country in February,” Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) Secretary Asif Bajwa said.

Bajwa was speaking to reporters after PHF’s Executive Board and Congress meetings, which were held at the National Stadium in Lahore and were headed by PHF President Qasim Zia.

“The number of matches to be played between the two teams are yet to be finalised,” Bajwa added, while expressing hope that the series will help bring international hockey back to Pakistan.

“Pakistan hockey has suffered to a great extent due to security concerns as foreign teams refused to visit Pakistan.”

Pakistan’s calendar of activities for 2011 was also approved during the two meetings. The Greenshirts are set to participate in four-nation tournaments in Ireland and Holland, besides touring Germany, Holland, Scotland and Spain for Test series. Pakistan will then participate in the Asian Champions Trophy, Azlan Shah Cup and the FIH Champions Trophy at the end of the year.

Former Pakistan Olympian Bajwa said the Federation has set the London 2010 Olympics and the 2014 FIH World Cup as the national team’s next big goals, after winning the Asian Games gold medal.

Dutchman Michel van Huevel will continue his job as Pakistan hockey team’s head coach while other members of the team management and the selection committee will be announced by January 20.