India to play hockey series against Pakistan after Olympics

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New Delhi, June 5 (UNI) Encouraged by the good showing of the National team in the Azlan Shah tourney in Ipoh, Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) has planned to resume the series with Pakistan after the Olympics.

India wanted the resumption of the series before the Junior Asia Cup slated for July 8-18, but Pakistan expressed its inability as their team is in the midst of Olympic preprations.

India has failed to qualify for the Beijing Olympiad.

Chairman of the ad-hoc selection committee of the IHF Aslam Sher Khan, disclosed here today that Pakistan hockey federation (PHF) has on principle agreed to play the series but only after the Beijing Olympics, ''though we wanted to have it before the Junior Asia Cup to provide some exposure to the under-21 players.'' ''PHF did not want to disturb the training schedule of their Olympic bound squad, so it is not possible to hold the series this or next month. However, the PHF has promised to play the series once their Olympic assignments are over,'' he said.

Talking to UNI Aslam, however, excuded confidence that the revival of the series after a gap of one year will be a boost for the game in the country.

He said the dates and venues of the series which will be played reciprocal basis will be decided shortly.

''We will like these series to be played on regular basis,'' he added.

Aslam said efforts are on to organise a tri-series with Malaysia as the third team and added ''The idea is to put the game back on the track.'' UNI HSB RKM UCS1825

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