Indian tennis official backs Pakistan over Davis Cup tie

December 17th, 2008 - 7:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Karachi, Dec 17 (IANS) Pakistan has received unexpected support from India on its right to host their Davis Cup tie against Oman that was recently shifted from Lahore citing security concerns.Anil Khanna, All India Tennis Association (AITA) secretary-general and president of the Asian Tennis Federation (ATF), has written to the Davis Cup Committee that the ATF fully backs Pakistan’s decision to question the switch, and insisted that the tie should be played in Lahore.

The Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) received a rude shock earlier this week when Davis Cup chiefs informed it that the Davis Cup Asia Oceania Group-II tie against Oman had been shifted from Lahore for reasons for security.

Pakistan was scheduled to host Oman in the opening round match on grass from March 6-8. The tie will now take place in Oman on the same dates.

Paul Smith, the Executive Director Davis Cup Committee, sent an email to PTF president Dilawar Abbas informing the decision.

Abbas, also an ATF vice-president, reacted sharply to the decision, saying that it was unfair to take the tie away from Pakistan.

Abbas said the PTF has organised eight world-ranking events in the last five months.

“There were 16 Indian girls playing here at the time of Mumbai attacks. Security is definitely important and we always take full responsibility and arrange the security cover,” Abbas wrote.

Khanna, supported Abbas, saying that Pakistan should host the Davis Cup tie. “If Indian players can visit Pakistan and are completely safe in that country then there is no reason why Omani players can’t go there,” he wrote to the Davis Cup Committee.

“The Asian Tennis Federation fully supports Pakistan and urges the Davis Cup committee to reconsider its decision to shift the tie from Lahore,” Khanna stressed.

Abbas said he was grateful for Khanna’s support. “The ATF’s support is much-needed and we are very thankful,” said Abbas, a Senator from the opposition Pakistan Muslim League (Quaid) party.

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