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KARACHI: Pakistan is likely to invite Indian players to be part of the World Hockey XI, which is to play three matches in the first two weeks of December, ‘The News’ learnt on Sunday. Australia’s Jami Dyer, a modern day hockey great, is also expected to be part of the World XI.

Informed sources said that PHF, after getting permission from the government, would contact the Indian federation and invite its couple of good players to be part of the World XI.

The PHF, in collaboration with Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) and International Hockey Federation (FIH), is organising the World XI matches in an effort to revive international hockey in the country.

The FIH had also helped PHF in getting 11 foreign goalkeepers to play in a domestic tournament. The players from Australia and Argentina participated in Nine-a-Side Nishan-e-Haider hockey tournament in Karachi.

Pakistan and India have not played any bilateral series in either cricket or hockey for many years because of political tension. Both countries have competed in international tournaments though.

Pakistan could not participate in the Junior Hockey World Cup as its players were not issued visas in time by the Indian government. But PHF, as a goodwill gesture, is going to contact India’s hockey federation to nominate a couple of players for the World XI.

A PHF official said that world renowned players of hockey would be part of these efforts to revive international hockey in Pakistan. A meeting of PHF high officials chaired by its president Brig (rtd) Khalid Khokhar will be held in a couple of days to decide the details of the three matches, which will be held in Karachi, Lahore, and Rawalpindi.

The official said that PHF was in contact with federations of Australia, Holland, Germany, England, Belgium, South Korea, Malaysia, and China to form the World XI. “We will not forget our friends in world hockey who are helping us,” the official said. The PHF has assured the officials of these federations that foolproof security arrangements would be made for all those visiting Pakistan.
Syed Intikhab Ali -The News