Published: Fri, November 08, 2019
Sport | By

Bopanna blasts AITA for change of captain, dont interfere, warns parent body

Bopanna blasts AITA for change of captain, dont interfere, warns parent body

India's Davis Cup tie against Pakistan at Islamabad this month must be played at a neutral venue after the latest advice from the International Tennis Federation's independent security advisors, the world governing body said on Monday.

The All India Tennis Association on Monday named Rohit Rajpal, a former India player and chairman of the national tennis federation's selection panel, as the non-playing captain after Bhupathi also refused to travel to Pakistan citing security concerns for the Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Group I tie.

"It surprises me that AITA changed the Davis Cup captain before ITF announced the final decision yesterday (04.11.19) and where the tie would be held", Bopanna said in a statement posted on his twitter handle. On the approval of the ITF's decision to have the match Venue or its place in place. If I had a captain who asked me to go to Pakistan under these circumstances, I would be quite upset. "There may perhaps perhaps perhaps not be any commerce in captaincy as far because the Davis Cup with Pakistan is eager", AITA secretary overall Hironmoy Chatterjee told IANS.

"I have not heard from the AITA since Monday or after the ITF addressed the players concerns on venue and approved a neutral location - so I am available and believe I am still Captain unless I hear otherwise!"

Asked if Bopanna will still be considered for the tie against Pakistan, Chatterjee said: "That is for the selection committee to decide".

Bhupathi's term as the non-playing captain ended in December 2018 and he was given an extension to lead the side in the tie against Italy in February this year in Kolkata. The tie against Pakistan, which was supposed to be played in Islamabad on November 29-30, will now be played on a neutral venue. "All the players speaking a single voice kind of flustered them a little bit and they thought let's get rid of the captain and suddenly everybody is looking around wondering what the hell happened?" The postponement had come in the wake of pleas from India to shift the tie to a neutral venue or postpone it given the heightened tensions between the two countries.

Meanwhile Qureshi has criticised ITF's decision.

The belief within Pakistan circles is that the caravan of thousands of angry anti-government demonstrators demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Imran Khan, which hit the streets on October 27 and traveled to Islamabad on November 1, may have forced ITF to change its mind at the last minute and shift the tie out of the capital city. I think the ITF should have let the tie in September, as nothing was wrong in Pakistan and Islamabad, but it was a well-planned and well-written script by the Indian Tennis Federation and they were fully backed by the ITF. Once again #Pakistan is getting penalised for someone else's actions. Requested if he had a phrase with Bhupathi, Chatterjee mentioned: "I had a word with Mahesh. To me it's an absolute discrimination at every level".

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