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India-Pak hockey Tests in September
May 11, 2004 20:37 IST
After the successful resumption of cricketing ties between India and Pakistan, it is the turn of hockey to see the arch-rivals battle for supremacy in a Test series, the first of its kind in five years, soon after the Olympics in September.
According to Indian Hockey Federation chief K P S Gill, India would host a four-match Test series in September after which India will cross the border to play the same number of matches in Pakistan.
Gill said the IHF and the Pakistan Hockey Federation are spurred by the success of the recently-held cricket series between the two countries in Pakistan and the visit of the junior hockey team to the country, where it won its maiden Asia Cup title.
"The Indo-Pak Test series will not only help the players but also rekindle the interest and passion for the game in both the countries," Gill told reporters in Delhi on Tuesday.
The much-awaited Test series would be an annual affair, Gill said, adding the venues for the four Tests in India are yet to be decided.
The IHF chief said the series would also ensure financial gains for the Indian players.
"This series will be boon for the Indian players who would stand to gain Rs 100,000 each within 20 days."
Even though both the sides have played each other in multi-nation competitions, they met for the last time in a bilateral series in 1999, when Pakistan beat India 6-3 in a nine-match Test series.