No Test with Pak before Olympics: IHF

Updated: 25 February 2007 08:48 IST

Despite the government's green signal to resume sporting ties with Pakistan, India may not immediately play a hockey Test series with their ach-rivals.

No Test with Pak before Olympics: IHF

Hyderabad:

Despite the government's green signal to resume sporting ties with Pakistan, India may not immediately play a Test series with their ach-rivals due to a packed schedule, Indian Hockey Federation secretary K Jothikumaran said today. "I got an invitation from the Netherlands Hockey Federation two days back and have given the confirmation since the best teams are in the fray," Jothikumaran said about the four-nation tournament in June-July next year. "We will also be playing in the Australian four-nation tournament in April. So it is very difficult to accommodate a Test series between India and Pakistan till the completion of the Olympics next year," he added. The two teams have not met in a Test series since 1999. The tournament in Australia, to be played in the second week of April, will see India, Pakistan, Argentina and the hosts vying for top honours. The Championship in Netherlands, between June 25 and July 5, will see the four best teams in the world -- Australia, India, Pakistan and the home side -- in action. However, IHF secretary welcomed the government's decision to allow the arch-rivals to tour each other, saying such a move would augur well for the development of the game. "This will not only help in marketing the game better, it will also give exposure to the players and give the spectators something more to cheer about," he said. Jothikumaran said though it would be difficult to play a Test series against Pakistan soon, the top bosses of the IHF would be meeting with International Hockey Federation (FIH) officials here on the sidelines of the Afro-Asian Games to discuss the issue. (PTI)



Topics : Hockey
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