Pakistan team prepares for Junior World Cup by training in India
Pakistan, who are to play the Junior World Cup in December in India, had their participation in the tournament in question because of the tension between the two neighbours.
India even adopted a boycott policy following political tension between the countries as it did not invite Pakistan to participate in recently concluded Kabaddi World Cup.Bilateral sporting tours also looked under strain as the media reported that sporting relations between the two countries might get hindered due to the ongoing political issue.
The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) rules, however, dictate that Pakistan is committed to participating in all international hockey events and will be unaffected by the politics in the country.
Things finally took a turn for the better as Shahbaz Ahmed, Secretary of the PHF stated to the PTI, "Training of its team for the Junior World Cup in the Indian city of Lucknow is in full swing, even as it awaited clearance from the government. Our team is preparing for the tournament and travel issues are being looked into."
The former Pakistan captain believes an unnecessary controversy had been created in the media regarding Pakistan's participation in the Junior World Cup, which is scheduled to be held from December 8-18 in India. He also added, "There was no problem about visas for the Pakistan junior team to visit India."
Shahbaz said both the senior and the junior teams were in good form and that he expect them to give a tough time to the opponents.
Pakistan are potential contenders in the Junior World Cup title and have been training for it for a long time. The senior team is now currently playing in the 4th Asian Champions Trophy in Kuantan where they take on hosts Malaysia in the semi-finals tomorrow.
India's junior men's hockey team, on the other hand, defeated hosts Spain 3-1 in their match at the 4-Nations Invitational tournament on Thursday evening.The win saw India top of the table after the group stages. For India, Parvinder Singh (5th min) opened the scoring while Nilakanta Sharma(30th min) and Armaan Qureshi(41st min) added to the tally.
This does seem to be a good sign for the relations between the two countries and hopefully we could see a few bilateral series between the sides.