Karachi: The Pakistan Hockey Federation on Wednesday, heaved a sigh of relief after the national team's first Test against China went off smoothly here with the hosts registering a 3-0 win in the match.
The match was significant as China became the first foreign team to play on Pakistani soil after years.
Since late 2004 foreign teams have avoided playing in Pakistan due to security and safety issues. "For Pakistani sports and hockey this is a very important tour and we are happy that the first Test was held without any problems or issues," PHF secretary Asif Bajwa said.
Interior minister, Rehman Malik was present during the match to ensure top class security arrangements and insisted that the government wanted to help the national federations bring back international sports to Pakistan.
China is in Pakistan to play four Tests as part of their plan to improve their hockey skills. "We are here to improve and give our players exposure. In the process if we are helping in any way bring back international sports to Pakistan we are very happy," China chef de mission Gaochao said.
Pakistan captain Muhammad Imran scored two goals for Pakistan in a match dominated by the home team, which badly required a win after a disappointing show in the recently concluded Champions Trophy in New Zealand.
China captain Song Yi gave a thumbs up to the security arrangements for the match. "I think the PHF has made excellent arrangements for this series and there is no anxiety among our players at all," he said.
The Pakistan Cricket Board is also hoping that a successful hockey series against China will also allow them to convince other national boards to send their teams to the troubled nation for international matches .
China will play one more Test at Karachi on Friday before moving to Faisalabad and Lahore for remaining two matches of the series.