Ending weeks of speculation, the International Tennis Federation on Monday moved India’s Davis Cup tie from Islamabad to a neutral venue, citing the safety of players and officials.
The All India Tennis Association had made repeated requests to the world governing body to move the November 29-30 tie to a neutral venue.
“Following a review of the latest advice given by the ITF’s independent security advisors, the Davis Cup Committee has taken the decision that the Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Group I tie between Pakistan and India on 29-30 November 2019, must be played at a neutral venue,” the ITF said in a statement.
They added, “The ITF and Davis Cup Committee’s first priority has always been the safety of athletes, officials and spectators and the decision was made on this basis.”
According to Davis Cup regulations, the Pakistan Tennis Federation now has five working days to choose and confirm their proposed venue. India’s top singles and doubles players pulled out of the tie, forcing AITA to consider fielding a second-string side.
The AITA was willing to send its team to Islamabad if ITF had insisted as the federation also announced former player and chairman of selectors Rohit Rajpal as non-playing captain of the side for the matches.
“Rohit will stay as captain of the side. He will talk to the top players if they are available,” AITA president Parveen Mahajan was quoted as saying by PTI.
AITA had maintained that atmosphere was not conducive to play in Pakistan ever since the Indian government revoked Article 370 of the constitution.