There is a very heartening news item running in the media today. All the hockey fans would be delighted with this one.
A bilateral hockey series between India and Pakistan is likely to take place in March this year, after India has shown keen interest to tour Pakistan for a three Test series, according to the Pakistan Hockey Federation. The three matches had been planned in Karachi, Lahore and Faisalabad. What is great it that this news comes just one day after it was announced that India may play Pakistan in a cricket series.
Praising the development as a positive one, PHF secretary Rana Mujahid said that Indian team’s visit to Pakistan was subject to clearance from the respective governments of both the countries.
He said, “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. But we are hoping that this planned series will pave the way for regular bilateral hockey ties between the two countries.”
Mujahid admitted that if the planned series got clearance than it would 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.
It is pertinent to add that a hockey series of three matches in both the countries was canceled in April last year after the Indian government denied permission. India and Pakistan last played a bilateral series in 2006. Pakistan hockey players were also sent home from the inaugural Hockey India League last year because of diplomatic tensions between the two nations
We really hope that bilateral ties are resumed between these two wonderful sports loving nations! Hope to see some great encounters soon!