The diplomatic tensions between India and Pakistan have yet again spilled over to the sporting arena as the Indian government has refused permission for a home-and-away bilateral hockey series between the two countries on security grounds.
A top source in Hockey India today said that they have received a communication from the Ministry of External Affairs asking it call off the bilateral series.
“The bilateral series between India and Pakistan has been cancelled as the Ministry of Exetrnal Affairs did not give us permission. The MEA had sent a fax to us yesterday, asking us not to host Pakistan or travel to the country for the series,” the source said.
The Pakistan’s hockey team was scheduled to tour India next month for five Test matches, which would have revived the bilateral hockey ties between the two traditional rivals in nearly seven years.
Pakistan was expected to play matches in the cities of Ranchi, Lucknow, Delhi, Mohali and Jalandhar between April 5-15.
After Pakistan’s visit, the Indian team was scheduled to pay a return visit and play five matches in Lahore, Faisalabad, Karachi and Sialkot from April 23.
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.
The cancellation of the hockey rubber came close on the heels of an abandoned bilateral snooker series between India and Pakistan earlier this month following Government’s objection.