Indian hockey

Pakistan set to participate in 2018 Hockey World Cup to be held in India: Report

There was widespread speculation that the four-time champions will skip the event after a breakdown in diplomatic ties between the two countries.

The Pakistan hockey team will participate in the 2018 World Cup, which will be held in Odisha during the end of the year, according to ANI.

Earlier, there was widespread speculation that the four-time champions will skip the event after a breakdown in diplomatic ties between the two neighbouring countries in recent years.

Pakistan failed to qualify for the 2014 World Cup but scraped through for the 2018 edition by virtue of finishing seventh in the Hockey World League semi-finals in London.

Recently, proceedings reached a tipping point between the two nations with former sports minister Vijay Goel suspending all bilateral ties with Pakistan until they “stopped supporting cross-border terrorism”.

Pakistan’s kabaddi [for World Cup 2016], squash and wrestling teams did not travel to India for marquee tournaments. The squash team had complained of India delaying their visas, which led to them missing out on the Asian Squash Championships in Chennai. The ministry denied visas to the wrestling team as well. Pakistan’s athletics squad, though, were issued visas to travel to Bhubaneshwar for the Asian Athletics Championships.

The Indian cricket board has not played bilateral series with Pakistansince 2012, for which the Pakistan Cricket Board sent a letter to the Board of Control for Cricket in India to compensate for losses to the tune of Rs 447 crore.

India’s sole hockey World Cup triumph came in Malaysia, way back in 1975. Pakistan have won the ‘71, ‘78, ‘82, 1994 tournaments. Their third triumph was on Indian soil, defeating West Germany 3-1 in Bombay. India were on song against their bitter rivals last year, though, registering comprehensive wins in the Hockey World League and the Asia Cup.

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