India among favourites for hockey World Cup: Pak coach | india | Hindustan Times
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India among favourites for hockey World Cup: Pak coach

india Updated: Jan 17, 2010 21:04 IST

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The turmoil in Indian hockey notwithstanding, Pakistan coach Shahid Ali Khan feels Rajpal Singh and his men are one of the favourites to lift the World Cup to be held in New Delhi next month.

The Pakistani coach said he wants to see an India-Pakistan final in the showpiece event scheduled for February 28-March 13.

"I wish my team makes the final and we face India there. If it happens, it would be great for hockey in the sub-continent," Shahid told 'PTI-Bhasha'.

The relations between India and Pakistan has been strained since the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks and Shahid said renewing sporting ties between the two nations will help normalise the situation.

He also brushed aside suggestions that security would be a concern when his team visit India for the mega-event.

"The International Hockey Federation (FIH) and the organisers have assured us of foolproof security. I believe that such tournaments will help strengthen Indo-Pak ties," he said.

India and Pakistan are in pool B along with England, South Africa and Spain. Pakistan will open their campaign against India on the opening day of the World Cup.

"I think India would be under more pressure to perform against us because they would be playing in home conditions in front of their fans. But still, we will have to play attacking hockey against India," Shahid said.