AITA row: Paes leads depleted Davis Cup team
Posted on: 03:07 PM IST Jan 11, 2013
New Delhi: The All India Tennis Association (AITA) has expectedly named a depleted Davis Cup squad to face South Korea, ignoring the eight revolting player for the Asia/Oceania Group I tie beginning here on February 1.
Announcing a four-man team comprising of veteran Leander Paes, Ranjeet Virali-Murugesan (517), Vijayant Malik (542) and Purav Raja (155 in doubles), the AITA vice-president Bharat Oza on Friday clarified that the ruling body had agreed to a few of the unselected players' demands.
Oza confirmed that AITA would send the four players via business class air travel and that a team physio will be selected as per the players' demands, adding that venues would be selected in consultation with players.
"If the players refuse to play for their country, it's very hard for us to give proposals to the government for changes," said Oza.
SP Misra will be the non-playing captain while Zeeshan Ali will be the coach. The revolting players wanted Misra to be replaced as the non-playing captain and also wanted a new coach apart from other demands such as a larger share in the prize money and air travel upgradation.
Selection committee chairman Anil Dhupar announced the team in a packed press conference where senior AITA officials explained the Association's stand and described the players' boycott as "unfair and unjustified". The AITA officials claimed that the Indian players were offered the best remuneration in the entire Asian region and gave the break-ups of some of the senior players' financial packages to back their claim.
In India's most recent Davis Cup tie, the team had beaten New Zealand 5-0 with young players such as Yuki Bhambri, Vishnu Vardhan, Divij Sharan and Sanam Singh in the absence of star like Somdev Devvarman, Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna.