New Delhi: Indian hockey players Rupinder Pal Singh and skipper PR Sreejesh speak in support of talk to resume sporting ties with the arch-rivals Pakistan and even wants the neighboring nation to consider touring to India for a tournament whenever possible.
Rupinder was quoted saying by Deccan Herald, “As a sportsperson, I feel that you should always play in events whenever you get the chance, But these are safety issues, so the situation is different.”
On asking how he feels after beating arch-rivals in the final of the Asian Champions Trophy, Rupinder said “It's always a different feeling when you play, and especially win against Pakistan.” “Our matches against them are also totally different (from the other games).” India recently defeated Pakistan 3-2 in Asian champions trophy final, held in Malaysia.
Often recognized as the 'world's best drag flicker' Rupinder was the highest scorer of the tournament with 11 goals to his name. He thinks victory over Pakistan in a major tournament is always special as whole nations emotions has been attached to these games. But at the end of the day, what counts is the number of medals you win. So that was a good feeling for us, to win gold at the Asian Champions Trophy.
While backing the decision of resuming sports ties with Pakistan, Indian captain Sreejesh said that
Pakistan should consider in coming to India and should not be worried about security issues on visiting the country.
Speakint to Deccan herlard, Sreejesh said “That is their issue, but if you look at it security wise, India is not a bad place to be . But it's up to the ministry and the association, and they are the best people to take the decision on that.”
He further added that “Before the tournament it's always different,We would always share a smile (even before the match), but after the game it's much lighter. We meet at the dining table, and share a coffee together”. He also admitted that once the match is over, friendly banter between the Indian and the Pakistani players is common.
Sreejesh concluded saying, “Obviously they are representing their country, and are there to win the match. But the issues happening outside the field gives a different picture of the game.”
With statements like these it seems that sooner or later the sporting relations between the two nations might soon be restored despite political tensions showing no signs of easening up.