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Call for regular Indo-Pak hockey series

February 27, 2006 16:26 IST

India's coach Rajinder Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Asif Bajwa called for regular hockey series between the two teams, saying it would help revive Asian hockey artistry.

Speaking on Sunday, after the conclusion of the six-match home and away series, which Pakistan won 3-1, both coaches expressed the view that regular competition between the two countries would also promote the Asian style of play and provide match practice to players ahead of important tournaments.

"It would help revive the sagging fortunes of the game in the subcontinent and bring spectators back to hockey grounds," Bajwa said.

His views were echoed by the Indian coach, who supported the proposal, saying that even junior tournaments between the two archrivals would help the game's cause.

The last match between the two sides was drawn 3-3, sealing the series in favour of the hosts, who made a clean sweep in the three encounters played in India.

India fought back from 0-3 down to hold Pakistan to a creditable 3-3 draw at the Army Hockey Stadium in Rawalpindi.

By holding the Pakistanis in the sixth and last match of the series, India won the second leg 1-0 and thereby narrowed down their series loss to 3-1.

Sandeep Singh (54th minute), Shivinder Singh (61st) and Vikram Pillay (62nd) scored the goals for the visitors after they were nearly outplayed in the first half. Pakistan scored through Tariq Aziz (4th minute), Mohammed Saqlain (27th) and Shabbir Hussain (43rd).