In a shocking turn of events, the fans could finally see India play Pakistan in an exciting bilateral series, the first one since 2006. Ahead of the 47th International Hockey Federation (FIH) Statutory Congress next month, top officials from Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) are planning to raise the issue with Hockey India regarding resumption of bilateral series between the two nations.
Can we see India vs Pakistan again in Hockey?
The meeting is scheduled to take place between May 19 to May 23 in New Delhi. PHF President Brig (retd) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar and secretary Asif Bajwa have already applied for Indian visas to attend it. Speaking on the same, an official from PHF said, “The meeting will give us an opportunity to talk to the Indian hockey federation officials on the possibility of reviving bilateral ties that could benefit Pakistan and India and the hockey followers in both countries.” He also confirmed that the FIH President and executive board members would also be elected for the next four years at the meeting.
History of Test series between the two nations
India and Pakistan used to play regular bilateral series in past. From 1978 to 2006, they played 8 Test series. While the Men in Green won 6 times (1978, 1981, 1998, 1999, 2004, 2006), India emerged victorious only once in 1986 and the 1988 series ended as draw. However, both the countries haven’t played any series since 2006.
Considering the fact that PHF are really struggling financially, the officials are hopeful that their Indian counterparts will agree to the proposal of playing a bilateral series at neutral venues. It could help both the federations to generate some money in the form of broadcasting rights, sponsorships etc. It would be interesting to see if the historic Indo-Pak rivalry will resume after a long gap of 15 years.