Indian tennis body to decide on players’ revolt

February 24th, 2008 - 4:39 pm ICT by admin  


New Delhi, Feb 24 (IANS) The All India Tennis Association (AITA) has decided to take up at its next executive committee meeting the matter of the Davis Cup team, including Mahesh Bhupathi, refusing to play under captain Leander Paes. AITA secretary Anil Khanna Sunday confirmed that he has received a letter signed by four players, adding that the date for the crucial executive committee meeting is yet to be decided.

“I have received the letter from the players citing that they don’t want to play under Leander Paes,” he said.

Led by Bhupathi, the Davis Cup team comprising Prakash Amritraj, Rohan Bopanna and Karan Rastogi, wrote to Khanna saying they would not play under Paes in future. This would jeopardise India’s chances against Japan in their Davis Cup Group I semi-final tie at home in April.

Khanna said that the issue would be sorted out at the executive committee meeting before the Japan tie.

“The decision will be taken in the best interest of the nation,” Khanna said.

The differences in the Indian Davis Cup team cropped up during their 3-2 win over Uzbekistan last month. Paes preferred green horn Somdev Dev Burman over Amritraj in the opening singles, saying that the latter was still to recover from a stomach ailment.

A miffed Amritraj, however, contradicted Paes’s decision and went to the media saying that he was fully fit.

Paes later blasted Amritraj at a media conference and raised doubts over his professionalism and commitment to the team. The simmering tension got worse when Bhupathi and Bopanna sided with Amritraj leaving Paes stranded.

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