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HomeSportsIndia ‘preparing for’ Pakistan Davis Cup tie travel

India ‘preparing for’ Pakistan Davis Cup tie travel

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THE Indian team is likely to get clearance to travel to Pakistan for the Davis Cup tie against their neighbours in February, the country’s national federation said last Saturday (30).

The All India Tennis Association (AITA) had written to the sports ministry, asking for permission to send the national team to Pakistan for the World Group I play-off tie on February 3-4.

“We have not yet got the approval in writing but it is likely that we will get clearance soon. We have been told that since it is not a bilateral tournament and the one organised by the ITF [International Tennis Federation], the government does not have a policy to interfere in such events,” Anil Dhupar, the AITA secretarygeneral told the PTI news agency.

“There is a process involved. The sports ministry has forwarded the request to the MEA [Ministry of External Affairs] and the home ministry’s view will also be taken before a final decision is made. We are hoping to get the clearance soon. We are preparing for the tie and the travel.”

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) last Saturday said it is still waiting for a final confirmation of players and officials from India to participate in the Davis Cup tie in Islamabad.

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“AITA have sent us a list of 11 officials and seven players who will be coming to Islamabad for visa processing. But we are still waiting for their final arrival confirmation,” Saleem Saifullah, the PTF [Pakistan Tennis Federation] president, said.

“The list also includes their captain Rohit Rajpal besides seven other players,” he added.

Saifullah said there was a deadline for AITA to send final arrival confirmation. If they didn’t travel to Pakistan, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) would consider the Davis Cup tie as forfeited, awarding full points to the hosts.

The Indian Davis Cup team last visited Pakistan in 1964, when Akhtar Ali, Premjit Lall and SP Misra helped the visitors grab the tie 4-0 in Lahore.

However, both sides were drawn against each other in 2019 and the tie was scheduled to take place in Pakistan.

But on that occasion, AITA moved it to a neutral venue, Kazakhstan, citing political strife between the two countries.

This time, the Pakistan team will be led by their top player Aisam ul Haq Qureishi. He will be joined by Aqeel Khan, Muhammad Shoaib, Barkatullah and Muhammad Abid.

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