The All India Tennis Association on Thursday said that they will wait for a couple of days and monitor the situation before asking the International Tennis federation to shift review India’s upcoming Davis Cup tie from Pakistan in wake of the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir.
The Davis Cup World Group Qualifiers was scheduled to be held in Islamabad on September 14-15 and India had to play as the ITF inspection team had visited Pakistan to assess the venue. However, the venue might have to change after Pakistan decided to downgrade diplomatic relations with India and suspend bilateral trade after the Indian government revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
“After the Kashmir declaration, the situation has become very sensitive for both countries. It can be a situation where Pakistan might not be able to host the tie. Secondly, with the sensitive nature, would it be conducive to go and play the tie in Pakistan? That is also to be considered,” AITA secretary general Hironmoy Chatterjee told Scroll.in.
“At no given point of time can we say that we are not going to play in Pakistan. In that case, we are going to be penalised and sanctioned by the International Tennis Federation. We would rather wait for two days, see what turn the situation takes,” he added.
Chatterjee said that the best way to handle the situation will be for the tie to be shifted to a neutral venue so both teams are comfortable playing.
“Let the ITF consider the prevailing situation and if required the tie to shift to a neutral venue – Pakistan has been used to playing a few ties at a neutral venue – where both teams can feel and play comfortably.
At this juncture, no one is going to feel very comfortable playing the tie. So let’s be realistic about the whole thing and accordingly approach,” he explained.
India has picked a full-strength squad for the September tie with all top players ready to go to Pakistan. The AITA said that the visa process was already underway with the Pakistan Tennis Federation sending the invitation letter and players completing the formalities.
However, the situation has changed since then and the next step will be in the hands of the international tennis body.
“All that is required to be done from our end, we are doing it but in the present scenario, we are also having second thoughts. Looking at the present situation as of now we are all a little bit concerned about how to go about it. If the ITF will be wise enough to take it to a neutral venue, I think that will be the best thing to do as of now,” he said.
“I have discussed the matters with my colleagues, we will wait for two days and thereafter we will approach the ITF to look into the situation and take a positive call.”