Mar 8, 2012

India likely to tour Pakistan for four nations

India-Pakistan hockey, once again?
Indian team is likely to tour Pakistan for a four nations hockey tournament in April. Along with hosts Pakistan, Malaysia has already confirmed the participation in the tournament which PHF is trying to convince South Africa as the fourth team in the tournament.

India and Pakistan hockey boards were trying to organize bilateral hockey series since past one year but they were not able to do so because of other commitment of both the teams.

The committee set up to check India's participation had already approved the proposal on Monday. The proposal is currently being studied by India's Sports Minister Ajay Maken who will give signal of India's participation in the tournament.

Interestingly, it will the the developmental and not the senior Indian side who will participate in the four nations tournament. Hockey India, National Sporting Federation of hockey in India confirmed that it will be developmental squad who will play the tournament. India's chief coach, Michael Nobbs also said that the tournament will be for the young and inexperienced players and not for senior players. Coach Nobbs said that players will end up playing too many matches and might lose the steam before Olympics. He also said participation of the seniors will affect the training camp which is scheduled for the Olympics preparation.

Also, Michael Nobbs is unlikely to travel for the four nations hockey tournament and the coaching job will be delegated to India's assistant coach Mohammad Riaz. Riaz, who played in two World Cups and two Olympics the assistant coach of India since Michael Nobbs took over as chief coach. Chief Coach Michael Nobbs believes that giving the charge to Michael Nobbs will be a great way of training future coaches of India.

India's tour of Pakistan would be a great start for the hockey relations between both the countries. Both India and Pakistan last played a bilateral series in the year 2006 and this tournament could once again open doors to hockey ties between both the countries.

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