Player safety on AITA’s mind ahead of Davis Cup tie in Islamabad
New Delhi, Aug 12: The All India Tennis Association (AITA) has sent a letter to the International Tennis Federation (ITF) seeking a review of the security situation in Islamabad. No request for a change in venue has been mentioned, according to AITA secretary Hironmoy Chatterjee.
"The Davis Cup team was pretty happy with the security situation there earlier but that was before the Kashmir issue arose. So after that we have asked them for a review of that security situation," said Chatterjee.
Earlier, Chatterjee had said conditions are not conducive for an Indian team to play in Pakistan and that's why they will wait for a couple of days before speaking to the ITF on the Davis Cup tie in Islamabad.
"We will wait for two days to see how the situation is and will then approach the ITF to if possible, shift the venue to a neutral place so that players can play comfortably. Right now, the situation is not very conducive for the players to go and play in Pakistan," Chatterjee had said.
If India don't play the ties, they will be slapped with a fine like Hong Kong were after they refused to play an away tie in Pakistan. In that case, the Hong Kong team were additionally relegated to a lower division.
An Indian tennis team last went to Pakistan in 1964, with the visitors securing a 4-0 victory.
Since the draw was out in February, there was a lot of talk around India going to Pakistan in the wake of the Pulwama attack and the strained political ties between the countries.
But after the ITF gave Pakistan the green signal to host the Davis Cup tie at the grass courts of the Pakistan Sports Complex in Islamabad, AITA started the process of checking player availability and sorting visa applications.
The sports ministry also cleared the Indian team's participation in the tie. Both the teams have not met each other since 2006 in the Davis Cup.
(Rohit Mundayur can be contacted on [email protected])