KARACHI: Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) has dropped the non-playing captain and coach Inam-ul-Haq from the Asian Games squad.
It had been decided in a meeting chaired by PTF president Salim Saifullah Khan in March this year that Inam would lead the men’s team during the Asian Games.“He was dropped due to lack of funds with Pakistan Sports Board (PSB),” said a source associated with PTF. “PTF is sponsoring its former secretary Khalid Rehmani, who is going with the team as its manager,” he added.
The source added that never in the history of PTF has a team participated in Asian Games without a captain or a coach. “The coach or captain should have beensponsored by PTF, but PTF took this decision keeping in view the PTF elections inNovember as they need votes from Sindh,” said the source.
The source added that Pakistan team is currently numberfour in Asian Davis Cup Zone so Pakistan might win a medal but the decision of not having captain or coach could provedisastrous.
“Another damaging decision they have taken is calling back Abid Ali Akbar and Muzammil Murtaza from Jakarta for a basic camp PTF is starting next week in very bad weather in Islamabad. They were playing ITF Futures there,” said the source.
“Abid and Muzammil participated in two Future tournaments and they were to play 3rd Future in Jakarta where Asian Games are scheduled but PTF called them to Pakistan for a basic one-week camp which is beyond understanding. An ITF future tournament was more useful preparation than a basic camp,” said the source.
The source added that the players could have acclimatisedby playing in Jakarta. “This is a really bad decision. The players could have played against other players competing in Asian Games,” said the source.
Also, the source added, calling them back has proved a financial loss as the players were already there in the host country but now tickets would have to be purchased to send them. “That money could have been used to send Aqeel Khan for Futures events. Aqeel then could have organised a one-week camp in Indonesia instead of here in Islamabad,” said the source.
“These decisions might cost Pakistan dearly,” said the source. When contacted, PTF official Gul Rehman said this decision was taken in the light of PSB’s policy regarding the Pakistani contingent for Asian Games.
PTF selected Aqeel, Abid, Muzammil and Abid Mushtaq for the Games without trials, which is against PTF’s stated policy. The source said that picking players without trials was unjust to such players as Ahmed Chohdri. “Ahmed was in great form and had recently come back to Pakistan after training in different clubs in Australia and Spain. Also, there are some talented junior players who should have got chances to show their skills in trials,” the source added.