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Indo-Pak bilateral hockey series likely in March

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The much-anticipated bilateral hockey series between India and Pakistan is likely to resume in March this year after the former has shown keen interest to tour the troubled-torn nation for a three Test rubber

hockeyKarachi: The much-anticipated bilateral hockey series between India and Pakistan is likely to resume in March this year after the former has shown keen interest to tour the troubled-torn nation for a three Test rubber, according to PHF.

Pakistan Hockey Federation secretary Rana Mujahid confirmed the development after a telephonic conversation with Hockey India secretary general Narinder Batra, who said that India was willing to play three Test matches against the neighboring country in March and April this year.

Hailing the development as positive, Mujahid said that Indian team’s visit to Pakistan was subject to clearance from the respective governments of both the countries.

“Indo-Pak ties are governed by relations between the governments and we don’t want to create expectations straightaway because in the past also we have had disappointments for some reason or the other,” he said.

“But we are hoping that this planned series will pave the way for regular bilateral hockey ties between the two countries,” Mujahid, a former Olympian told PTI.

He said the three matches had been planned in Karachi, Lahore and Faisalabad. A hockey series of three matches each in both the countries was canceled in April last year after the Indian government refused permission.

Later, Pakistan hockey players were also sent home from the inaugural Hockey India League last year because of diplomatic tensions between the two nations.

India and Pakistan have played a bilateral series last time in 2006. Mujahid admitted that if the planned series got clearance than it would dramatically help in improving the financial condition of PHF.

“It would be a big financial boost for us if India plays in Pakistan and our position would also improve. Presently we have asked the government for a grant of 650 million rupees to help bail us out,” he said.

PTI

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