RAWALPINDI: Former top players Hameed-ul-Haq and Mushaf Zia believe the Davis Cup tie in Pakistan will open the doors for foreign teams to the country.
Pakistan are set to play Iran in the Asia Oceania Zone Group II tie at the hard courts of the Pakistan Sports Complex here from February 3-5.
Hameed and Mushaf, both former national team captains and coaches, said the tie would help revive Davis Cup tours to Pakistan.
“It is a great thing that the Davis Cup has returned to Pakistan,” Hameed said. “And it is bound to be successful in every way possible because everyone has worked really hard to make it successful,” he added.
Both former players complimented Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) president Salim Saifullah Khan and his team for bringing back the tie to the country.
They also praised the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) and its Director General Dr Akhtar Nawaz Ganjera for providing the facility and funds for the renovation of the hard courts in the Sports Complex.
“Former players, current players — men, women and juniors — everyone has been given a task. Everyone feels a sense of involvement.”
Speaking of Pakistan’s chances against Iran, both Hameed and Mushaf were confident that Pakistan would come out on top. “Pakistan should not face a lot of difficulty in beating Iran,” Hameed said. “Besides the home advantage, I think we have a better and much more experienced team.
“Iranians usually play on clay. They will find the going tough against quality players on a hard court.
Mushaf said Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi’s presence in itself was a huge advantage. “He will give Pakistan a big psychological edge over our opponents. “We all know that Aqeel Khan has been a top performer over the years and Abid Ali Akbar and Abid Mushtaq are talented as well.”
Hameed represented Pakistan in the Davis Cup ties for 13 years on the trot. He also served as non-playing captain and coach of the national Davis Cup team on many occasions.
Mushaf, who holds the record for the fourth longest match in the Davis Cup history after the introduction of tie-breakers, played for the country from 1984-89. He has also been Pakistan’s non-playing captain and coach on a number of occasions.