Indian Davis Cup team concerned about security in Pakistan despite ITF's green light

Indian Davis Cup team concerned about security in Pakistan despite ITFs green light
Prajnesh Gunneswaran, India's top-ranked player

New Delhi - The ITF said in a statement that it was satisfied with Pakistan's security plan for the event



By PTI/Reuters

Published: Tue 13 Aug 2019, 11:16 PM

Last updated: Wed 14 Aug 2019, 1:21 AM

The Indian Davis Cup team wants the tie against Pakistan in Islamabad next month to be shifted to a neutral venue and is baffled that the national federation has merely asked for a security re-check so far.
After repeatedly making statements that the All India Tennis Association (AITA) will seek a neutral venue, its general secretary Hironmoy Chatterjee surprisingly sought just a security re-check from the International Tennis Federation.
Pakistan last week expelled India's ambassador and suspended bilateral trade with its neighbour after New Delhi removed "special status" from its portion of the contested region of Kashmir.
The AITA has already named a six-member squad under captain Mahesh Bhupathi for the Sept. 14-15 tie but subsequent developments have put a question mark over the contest.
The ITF said in a statement that it was satisfied with Pakistan's security plan for the event. "Safety and security are the ITF's highest priority," the International Tennis Federation (ITF) said.
"We are working closely with the host nation and independent expert security advisors - the ITF is satisfied with their current security assessment of the site and the security plan in place. The overall security risk rating for Pakistan has not changed, however, we will continue to monitor the situation closely with our advisors."
The Indian players, though, have decided to approach the country's tennis federation are as they are uncomfortable to play in Pakistan considering the current political situation.
"We have asked AITA to request for a neutral venue," said India captain Mahesh Bhupathi. Another player, who did not wish to be named, said the team is "quite surprised" with how AITA has dealt with the situation.
The AITA said it would go ahead with the visa formalities for the tie if the September 14-15 clash is cleared by the ITF following a fresh security check.
An Indian tennis team last went to Pakistan in 1964 for a Davis Cup tie, defeating their hosts 4-0, while Pakistan lost 3-2 on their last visit to India in 2006.
Pakistan was forced to host Davis Cup ties at neutral venues for more than a decade as teams refused to travel to the country because of security concerns.
They played their first home tie after a gap of 12 years against Iran in 2017, while Hong Kong was relegated and fined by the ITF after they refused to travel to Pakistan the same year. 
India's cricket team has not toured Pakistan since 2007 and bilateral ties between the countries have remained suspended since 2008, although they have met in international competition.
 


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