Tennis Australia worried about security in India

March 26th, 2009 - 4:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Davis Cup New Delhi, March 26 (IANS) Tennis Australia (TA) has voiced its concerns about playing its third-round Davis Cup tie in India due to security concerns.
TA has requested the International Tennis Federation (ITF) to hold the tie outside India, All India Tennis Association (AITA) executive director Ranbir Chauhan confirmed Thursday.

The AITA has said it is confident of hosting the Asia Oceania Zone Group I tie scheduled to take place in Chennai from May 8-11.

“We have written to ITF over Tennis Australia’s concerns to hold the tie in India. We are going to take drastic steps to ensure foolproof security for the event. We are confident that the tie will not be shifted from India,” Chauhan told IANS.

Chauhan, who was in Chennai last week to assess the security, said the host associations would take all possible security measures to placate the apprehensions of the Australians.

“Chennai is a safe place. I was there last week and had spoken to Tamil Nadu Tennis Association (TNTA) and government officials who are ready to provide security for the event. I don’t see any reason to why the tie should not take place here.

“We just held an ATP even in Chennai Open in January which was organised in a dignified and a befitting manner. All the top players of the world participated in it and had no problems as far as the security is concerned,” he said.

Asked if ITF would be sending its experts to review the security in Chennai, Chauhan said: “There is no need for security consultants to come here. But if ITF still wants to send a team to assess security, they are most welcome.

TNTA chief executive H.K. Joshi added that “appropriate measures” would be taken for the tie.

“We have been assured by Tamil Nadu government and police officials for providing security. There will be no loose strings from our end. It is the same venue where we successfully organised the ATP Chennai Open and all measures will be taken to ensure safety of players,” Joshi told IANS.

Top Australian player and former World No.1 Lleyton Hewitt had reportedly expressed security fears of travelling to India following the Mumbai terror strike and the audacious daylight attack on Sri Lankan cricketers in the Pakistani city of Lahore.

“I think everybody is concerned, probably more so, after what happened in Pakistan to Sri Lankan cricket team. With everything on subcontinent, right at the moment, safety is definitely an issue,” he was quoted as saying.

Asked if would consider withdrawing from the tie, Hewitt said: “I have conveyed what I have to, to Tennis Australia and they have to speak on behalf of the players and the entire team. We have to trust Tennis Australia.”

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