Source: Tribune Pakistan
Bilateral hockey series: Pakistan, India set for decisive talks on revival
Recently, Pakistan confirmed that India will be coming over for a snooker series later this month and now the officials of the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) and Hockey India (HI) are close to finalising the revival of a bilateral series planned for March-April.
The top two officials of the PHF including President Qasim Zia and Secretary Asif Bajwa reached Kuala Lumpur yesterday to attend the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) meeting. They are also scheduled to meet HI Secretary General Narinder Batra to cement the plans for the bilateral series.
In December last year, the two counterparts signed an agreement from that would see them hold Pakistan-India bilateral Test series between 2013 to 2018. As per the agreement, Pakistan were to visit India in March 2013 and play five matches while India promised to pay a return visit in the following month.
But the series became doubtful due to political tensions between the two countries. Problems were aggravated further when the Pakistan players had to return without playing the inaugural Hockey India League due to security threats.
However, both PHF and HI remained determined for the revival of the series and are now expected to finalise things soon after meeting on the sidelines of the AHF meeting today.
“We will meet the HI officials today,” the PHF President Qasim Zia told The Express Tribunefrom Kuala Lumpur yesterday. “The discussion to finalise the series and its schedule will be made during the meeting.”
Earlier, Bajwa, while leaving for Malaysia late Thursday night, said the revival of series was in the interest of both the countries and the PHF was looking forward to it.
PHF to press for amendments in series contract
Meanwhile, it has been learnt that the top PHF officials may press their India counterparts to send their team first as they doubt the Indian government might hinder their return visit after Pakistan’s tour.
“This point is likely to be made during the meeting,” said a PHF official.
“We have confidence in HI but we have doubts about their government, who may create problems for India team’s return visit.”
The official said there was also a possibility that the two bodies could agree to financial compensations in millions for a team in case it withdraws from making the return trip.
“The PHF wants to make sure it won’t be one-way traffic and that will be the main discussion during the meeting.
“The schedule of the series will be announced once both bodies reach a consensus on the changes in the contract.”