After Pakistan Cricket team’s India tour in December 2012, their hockey team will be coming down to India next month for playing a five match test series after a gap of nearly seven years, later on India will go to Pakistan to play five matches.
The tour is expected to improve sporting ties between the South Asian neighbours, which were suspended after the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai by Pakistan-based militants, which left 166 people dead.
In the revived series, Pakistan hockey team will play five test matches in India from 5th to 15th April 2013 at five different venues which are Ranchi, Lucknow, New Delhi, Mohali and Jalandhar, while Indian team will cross the border to play five test matches from 23rd April to 2nd May 2013 at 4 venues namely Karachi, Faisalabad, Sialkot and Lahore. Lahore will host two matches.
According to reports, Officials from Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) and Hockey India met on the sidelines of an Asian Hockey Federation meeting in Malaysia last week to finalise the tours, which is expected to help hockey in both the countries.
Although Pakistan had visited India twice in 2010 to participate in World Cup and Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, but they last played a bilateral hockey series in 2006 — three matches in each country. The two teams will also face each other in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2013 to be held at Ipoh in Malaysia from March 9-16.
Both India and Pakistan used to be powerhouse of hockey for decades, sharing 11 Olympic Gold Medals between them of which India won eight time. In the recent years, both have slumped at the international level as Pakistan finished a poor seventh at the London Olympics last year. India ended at their worst 12th and last in London and had also failed to qualify for Beijing Olympics in 2008 for the first time in Olympics history.
In mean while, India’s snooker team is also due to visit Karachi to play a series from March 7-10.
With inputs from PHF Press Release