Indo-Pak snooker series cancelled - will hockey survive?
Home Ministry advised the Indian cueists against travelling to Pakistan on a day when the news of revival of Indo-Pak hockey ties broke.
New Delhi: On a day when the news of the revival of Indo-Pak bilateral hockey series arrived, Indian cueists had to unpack their bags as the snooker series between the two estranged neighbours was called off due to security concerns - the Hindustan Times reported on Tuesday.
Captain Kamal Chawla and his team of Brijesh Damani, Lucky Vatnani and Rafat Habib was scheduled to fly out of Mumbai to Pakistan on Tuesday night for the snooker series in Karachi from March 7 to 10, but on the advice of the Home Ministry, the Billiards and Snooker Federation of India had to cancel the tour.
The players got their Pakistan visas on Monday evening but were advised against travelling by the Home Ministry, sources told Hindustan Times. "The federation, which had sought advice from the Home Ministry, received an advisory on Monday suggesting not to undertake the tour," the source was quoted as saying by the leading news daily. A snooker series between the two countries was last organised eight years ago.
The cancellation of the series casts a dark shadow over the revival of hockey ties between the two countries, even as the dates of the two countries touring each other for a bilateral hockey series were announced on Tuesday. While Pakistan are scheduled to play a five-match series in India starting April 15, India will tour Pakistan for another five matches soon after.
But since nine Pakistan hockey players were forced to return home after protests against their participation in the Hockey India League, the future of the hockey series, just like snooker, hangs in the balance as well.
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