Hockey India is all set to the start the once popular Indo-Pak hockey test series from next year.
In a bid to improve India’s ranking as well as give the senior team a chance to play higher ranked nations, HI secretary-general Narinder Batra said that a series with Pakistan on home and away basis will be a mandatory fixture in calender.
“The basic planning will be to play against Pakistan plus against two other top-ranked nations every year. We have already sent an invite to Pakistan’s hockey federation for a series next year. The following year (2014), we will be touring Pakistan. Apart from Pakistan, we plan to play against Australia, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Spain, Germany on a regular basis.”
According to association’s master-plan, there will be an India ‘A’ team or development squad which will be the bridge between the national U-21 and the senior squad.
“Often, we find that some of the U-21 players who show a lot of promise are left in the lurch once they make a cross over to the senior level from age-group hockey. For them, we have decided to have a development squad or ‘A’ team which will act as a supply line for the senior side.”
In another significant development, Hockey India may take back promising drag-flicker Gurjinder Singh who had signed with the rebel World Series Hockey (WSH) championship.
The former junior India captain, who scored 19 goals in the inaugural edition of the tournament has already written a letter to HI requesting the parent body to consider him for future national squads.
“I have already replied to Gurjinder’s letter and will meet him and discuss his case. It’s about a player’s future and if he seriously approaches us, we have to give his case due consideration,” Mr. Batra said.
Keywords: Indo-Pak hockey match