Pakistan, Australian hockey teams arrive in India

Pakistan, Australian hockey teams arrive in India

Pakistan, Australian hockey teams arrive in India


Pakistani Hockey Team players arrive at Attari/Wahga international border about 45 km from Amritsar on Monday to play World Cup Hockey Tournament in New Delhi. PTI

The Australian hockey team was the first to reach New Delhi in the wee hours Monday while the Pakistan team entered India through the Wagah Border.

"The Pakistan team crossed the Wagah Border at around 1 pm," BSF spokesperson Jagir Singh said.

The New Zealand team will fly out of Perth later on Monday. One of the Black Sticks players -- Simon Childe -- has pulled out of the tournament, saying that it will not be an "ideal environment" to play under such thick security cover.

"It's not an ideal environment to be trying to play your best hockey and to be performing for your country. I think that was the major issue that swayed me when I made up my mind," said Childe, who travelled with the 18-man squad to Western Australian for a series of build-up matches.

Strict security arrangements are in place following terror group Al Qaeda's warning to international athletes against participating in any sports events in India.

Both Hockey Australia and Hockey New Zealand reassessed the security situation in India after the threat by Al Qaeda before giving a clearance to their respective teams Sunday.

Hockey New Zealand (HNZ) had put the departure of the team on hold at Perth where they were playing warm-up matches against Australia. They cleared the team for participation in the World Cup Sunday.

"The details we have received have reassured us that the required level of security is in place, therefore we have kept the team in the tournament," said Hilary Poole, chief executive of Hockey New Zealand.

The three-member support staff of the Canada team including the coach also arrived on  Monday.

"The whole team will be coming tomorrow. We are happy with the security. It's a bit stifling though with so many security personnel around," the Canadian coach Alan Brahmst said.

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