ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has won a battle against India as in a major breakthrough the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Davis Cup Committee has ruled in favour of its hosting rights, rejecting security concerns raised by the neighbouring country.
In a landmark decision, the 15-member Davis Cup Committee has accepted the Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) presentation against All Indian Tennis Association’s (AITA) refusal to send its Davis Cup team to Pakistan to figure in the Group I Play Off tie to be held in Islamabad in the first week of February.
“The ITF Davis Cup Committee has rejected Indian security concerns and directed the Indian Federation to send its team for an important tie, failing which the tie will be awarded to Pakistan,” a source within the ITF Davis Cup Committee confirmed to The News.
The Committee in a consensus decision declared that Indian stance not to travel to Pakistan has no solid grounds.
“There is no such situation in Pakistan where an Indian team cannot travel and participate in the Davis Cup tie. Pakistan has hosted some important Davis Cup ties just recently in a successful manner so there is no solid reason as to why they cannot host the tie against India. Maintaining law and order is a sole responsibility of the host nation. Indian team should rest assured that required security measures will be in order for their travel and participation,” the committee opined.
AITA recently communicated to the Davis Cup Committee that it would not be possible for their national team to play the tie in Pakistan in three months’ time, stressing that the tie should be organised at a neutral venue.
PTF President Salim Saifullah Khan took a strong exception to the Indian refusal to play the tie in Pakistan and communicated to the ITF Davis Cup Committee that Pakistan has all the right to go ahead with the Davis Cup tie hosting. Besides personally taking up the matter with ITF President David Haggerty, Salim Saifullah Khan and his team submitted a strong presentation with the ITF Davis Cup Committee last week.
India declined to send their team for the Asia Cup Cricket in Pakistan. As a result most of the matches were organised at a neutral (Sri Lanka). Setting aside fans and cricket fraternity concerns, the ICC could not stand up to the Indian pressure and took away most of the Asia Cup matches from Pakistan.
In this case, despite pressure and Indian influence in international sports, the ITF Davis Cup Committee stayed firm and decided the issue on merit, rejecting Indian concerns altogether.
This is not the first time that the AITA has taken a totally unjustifiable and unreasonable position on playing the tie in Pakistan. The last time Team India was to visit, in 2019, under the same circumstances, the PTF, respecting ITF’s advice, most reluctantly agreed to a neutral venue, i.e. Kazakhstan. This time around the PTF took a strong stance and sent a presentation to the DCC covering all important issue and reasons and why India’s concerns have got no grounds.
The presentation also highlighted recent sports exchanges between the two countries including baseball, kabaddi and bridge teams visits to Pakistan.
“After going through the presentation, the ITF DCC decided the case in favour of Pakistan, directing the AITA to send their team for the tie, failing which the tie will be awarded to Pakistan. It is indeed a big news for Pakistan sports and first real jolt to India,” an official said.