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PHF, Hockey India to discuss revival of bilateral series

August 27, 2012

The resumption of Pakistan-India games could play an integral part in breathing life into Asian hockey. -Photo by AFP

LAHORE: Pakistan and India can revive bilateral hockey series by next year as discussions between the two hockey federations is going to be held in New Delhi next month.

Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) secretary Asif Bajwa told reporters on Monday that Hockey India had invited PHF president Qasim Zia to discuss the revival of the bilateral series.

“A PHF delegation would visit India before September 15. The initial talk between the countries on the resumption of the series was held on the sidelines of the recently-concluded London Olympics,” Bajwa told reporters on Monday.

He further said the PHF would try to convince India to first send their team to Pakistan for restoring the bilateral series.

“Pakistan [hockey squads] have visited India on several occasions in the recent past to participate in the 2010 Commonwealth Games and the [2010] World Cup and now it should be the turn of India [hockey team] to visit Pakistan,” the official stressed.

Noting the two neighbouring countries were going to restore bilateral cricketing ties in December this year, Bajwa reckoned a similar revival in the game of hockey was naturally also expected by the masses.

The PHF official emphasised the resumption of Pakistan-India games could play an integral part in breathing life into Asian hockey.

“More and more tournaments at the Asian level should be held and for that India and Pakistan could play a big role. However, first of all both India and Pakistan should revive the bilateral series,” he remarked.

Both India and Pakistan, once major forces in world hockey, have been struggling at international stage for the past several years. In London Olympics, while India hit the rock bottom by finishing last in the 12-nation event, Pakistan returned home empty-handed with a consolation seventh place achievement.