Paes steps down as Indian Davis Cup captain

August 19th, 2008 - 8:04 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 19 (IANS) Leander Paes stepped down as the captain of the Indian Davis cup team Tuesday and S. P. Misra has been named the non-playing captain for the tie against Romania in the World Group play-off in September. Paes informed All India Tennis Association (AITA) Secretary General Anil Khanna about his decision during a meeting in Beijing just after the Olympics doubles tennis event, an AITA statement said.

Misra told IANS from Secunderabad that it was an honour for him to lead a squad that includes two great champion players and two highly talented youngsters.

“With Paes and Bhupathi in the team and highly rated young players Prakash Amritraj and Somdev Devvarman, we should be able to battle it out with Romania who will be hard to beat at home,” Misra said.

Misra said contrary to general belief, the Davis Cup squad had always been a cohesive unit and played in the right spirit. “I have every reason to believe the team will put up a good show.”

Paes said he would like to step down as captain as he wanted the best Davis cup team to represent the nation.

It may be recalled that three of Paes’s teammates led by Mahesh Bhuapthi had revolted against him and wanted him removed as captaincy after the Davis Cup tie against Uzbekistan in February. Rohan Bopanna, Prakash Amritraj joined Mahesh in the revolt.

Meanwhile, the selection committee dropped Bopanna from the team because of his poor form.

Besides Paes and Bhupathi, Somdev Devvarman and Amritraj will represent India in the tie to be held on red clay in Clubul Sportiv Progresul, Bucuresti from Sept 19-21.

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