Lahore: Pakistan’s hockey team will tour India next month after a nod from New Delhi for the first five-match series between the South Asian rivals in nearly seven years, official said on Monday.
The tour is expected to improve sporting relations between the nations following the Pakistan cricket team’s India visit in December.
India had suspended all sporting ties with arch-rivals Pakistan after the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai.
Officials from the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) and Hockey India met on the sidelines of an Asian Hockey Federation meeting, in Malaysia last week, before finalising the tour.
PHF secretary Asif Bajwa hailed the revival of the series as “a big step”.
“It will help field hockey of both countries and will give fans of both countries a good opportunity to witness exciting hockey,” he told a press conference.
Pakistan will cross the border next month and play matches in the cities of Ranchi, Lucknow, Delhi, Mohali and Jalandhar, between April 5-15. The Indian team will pay a return visit and play five matches in Lahore, Faisalabad, Karachi and Sialkot from April 23, said Bajwa.
The two teams are also due to face each other in the Azlan Shah hockey tournament, to be played in the Malaysian city of Ipoh, from March 9-16.
Pakistan and India last played a bilateral hockey series in 2006 — three matches in each country. Pakistan won three and lost one while the remaining two were drawn.