Kazakhstan venue on ITF radar

Ross Houston
November 21, 2019

It appears that International Tennis Federation's (ITF) decision to shift Pakistan-India Davis Cup tie to a neutral venue has overlooked Pakistan players' passionate desire to perform in front of their home crowd as after Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi another tennis ace Aqeel Khan also announced to pull out of the event.

The Impartial Tribunal of the ITF endorsed the choice taken by the Davis Cup Committee on November four that the tie ought to be shifted to a impartial venue, holding in thoughts security and safety of gamers and officers.

Recently, when the ITF had announced that tie would be shifted to any neutral venue, the PTF has also filed an appeal requesting the ITF not to shift the tie since Islamabad is a safe place to hold global events and the city has been doing so for the last many years. It argued that if Indian pilgrims can visit Pakistan without any security threat, why the Indian team could not play matches in Islamabad. It will work in our favour, not that our players can't play on grass but they a lot more comfortable on hard courts.

Talking to The Nation, Aisam (Sitara-i-Imtiaz) said: "The ITF decision has nothing to do with ground reality nor it is taken in the best interest of tennis while there was also no life-threatening situation to both the countries' officials and players as the ITF's decision was purely taken on political basis".

"Yeah, the venue is Kazakhstan, Nur-Sultan, and the tie will be played on November 29 and 30", Chatterjee told ANI.

Aisam-ul-Haq, Pakistan's top player, expressed his disappointment after India refused to play in Islamabad.

"We will be missing out on Prajnesh (Gunneswaran) and Divij (Sharan) and of course Rohan (Bopanna) pulled out due to injury, but we have got backups and they are in good form", said the coach.

Sumit Nagal, Ramkumar Ramanathan, Saketh Myneni, Sasi Kumar Mukund, Leander Paes and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan will be travelling for the tie, along with Sidharth Rawat as the reserve.

Sources in the Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) said that the federation is mulling either to send a junior team or boycott the event altogether.

Aisam further said, "Let me made it very clear to worldwide community, ITF and all the sports playing nations that it is a huge disrespect to Pakistani people, who are very peaceful and sports-loving and there hospitality is well-known to all".

"Pressure is different on Davis Cup because you are not playing for yourself but for your country. Our job is to win the tie", added Zeeshan.

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