Shikha hurt at being left out of Fed Cup team

January 3rd, 2009 - 9:03 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 3 (IANS) Coming down heavily on the Indian government’s new policy on player representation, Shikha Uberoi said she felt like losing her “pride” after being axed from the Fed Cup tennis squad.Sunitha Rao and Shikha were left out of the four-member squad for the Fed Cup Asia-Oceania Zone Group I tie in Perth Feb 4-7. They have been excluded following the new government policy that now allows only Indian passport holders to represent the country. Both Sunitha and Shikha, who were part of the team last year, are US passport holders.

Shikha told IANS that she was disappointed at not being able to represent India.

“I am very disheartened. I feel as I have lost a part of myself and my pride,” Shikha said.

Though both players were not considered because of the new policy, Shikha’s chances of making it to the squad was bleak as her 592 ranking was way below that of the four selected.

AITA executive director Ranbir Chauhan said they went by the government’s rule.

“We went by the government’s new policy, the two players could not be the part of the team. Otherwise I am sure Sunitha would have been there. But Shikha could not have made it as her ranking is below the others.” Chauhan said.

The All India Tennis Association (AITA) selection committee named Sania Mirza, Ankita Bhambri, Sanaa Bhambri and Rushmi Chakravarthy for the tie. India have been clubbed with Australia, Korea, Thailand, Chinese Taipei, Indonesia, New Zealand and Uzbekistan.

For Bhambri sisters, the news came as a surprise. Ankita has been part of the Fed Cup team before, but she missed the cut last year because of a dip in her rankings, while for younger sister Sanaa it is been the first-time call for national duty.

Sanaa, ranked 480, admits expecting the call.

“After the whole citizenship issue, I had a feeling that I will be selected. I am quite thrilled and will to do my best,” she said.

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