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India await Champions Trophy call-up
October 11, 2004 21:03 IST
India is expecting a formal invitation from the International Hockey Federation to take part in the Champions Trophy after Australia pulled out of the event on Monday citing security reasons.
India had been asked by the FIH to be ready for the event in case any team pulls out at the last minute and Australia's withdrawal has paved the way for the Asian giants to take part in the six-nation tournament, to be held in Lahore in December.
"It's a good news for us. We got a communication from FIH only a couple of days back to get ready for the event in case any team pulls out. Now we hope to get a formal invitation from them in next one or two days," Indian Hockey Federation secretary general K Jothikumaran said from Chennai.
Australia's withdrawal came a day after a suicide bombing in a mosque in Lahore killed four people.
Jothikumaran said India do not have any such security fears as the team played four Test matches in Pakistan just a few days back. He also said the trip would provide good exposure to the young players and help India prepare a team for the future.
"It's a top competition with the best teams participating. It would be a very good experience for the young players in the side," he added.
The other four teams besides hosts Pakistan -- Germany, Holland, Spain and New Zealand -- have confirmed their attendance for the elite six-nation annual event scheduled to be held from December 4 to 12.