ISLAMABAD: The much-awai-ted Davis Cup tie between India and Pakistan has been put off till mid November instead of September 14-15 following a lengthy telephonic meeting between Pakistan Tennis...
ISLAMABAD: The much-awai-ted Davis Cup tie between India and Pakistan has been put off till mid November instead of September 14-15 following a lengthy telephonic meeting between Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) President Salim Saifullah Khan and International Tennis Federation (ITF) chief David Haggerty Thursday evening.
Saifullah told ‘The News’ that the tie has been postponed till mid November.
“More than one option was considered during the lengthy discussion, which was participated by the members of the Davis Cup committee. At the end of the session it was agreed upon that the tie will now be held in mid November in Islamabad. The final dates for the tie will be announced later,” Saifullah said.
The tie was scheduled to be held at the Pakistan Sports Complex courts on September 14-15. ‘The News’ has learnt that India was reluctant to send its team to Pakistan under the prevailing situation. Since the forced change in the Indian constitution on August 5, the situation has become volatile in the region.
“The All India Tennis Association was reluctant to send the team and did not furnish the details for Pakistani visas. India wants to move the tie to some neutral venue but the idea was rejected by the ITF. The world body supported me that Pakistan has all the right to host the tie. The situation in Pakistan is normal and as such India’s team should not have any objection to travel to Pakistan,” Saifullah added.
The PTF stressed upon the participants that denying Pakistan the opportunity to host the tie would be unjust.
“After listening to both sides’ point of view, the ITF’s Davis Cup Committee decided to postpone the tie with Pakistan continuing to have the right to host it.” The ITF’s committee also asked the Indian tennis association to furnish all the details to acquire Pakistani visas.
“The Indian tennis has been asked to send all the relevant documents so that the PTF can arrange Pakistani visas for them. I am hopeful that India will submit the documents well in time,” the PTF president said.
Since the next Asia/Oceania Zone Davis Cup ties are scheduled for February 2020, the postponed Pak-India tie will have no effect on the schedule.
Both countries had already announced their teams. Expectations were high as for the first time in almost 54 years Indian players would be crossing the border to play Davis Cup.
Pakistan along with India, Lebanon, China, Korea and Uzbekistan have been placed in Group I of the Asia/Oceania Zone. The winners of the Group I tie will directly make it to the playoffs of the World Group.
Meanwhile, the ITF has issued the following statement regarding Pakistan’s Asia/Oce-ania Group I tie against India scheduled for next month:
“Following an in-depth security review of the current situation in Pakistan by independent expert security advisors, the Davis Cup Committee has taken the decision to postpone the Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Group I tie between Pakistan and India in Islamabad, due to be played on 14-15 September.
“The Committee concluded that this is an exceptional circumstance while the first priority of the ITF is the safety and security of athletes, officials and spectators.
“The tie has been rescheduled for November, with the exact dates to be confirmed by the Committee no later than 9 September. The ITF will continue to monitor the situation in Pakistan and the Davis Cup Committee will re-convene to re-examine the security situation in advance of the tie.”