The away tie has a possibility of being shifted to a neutral venue if the central government stands firmly with its current policy of disallowing sporting teams to travel to the neighbouring country.
India has been awarded a tricky away tie to Pakistan on Wednesday in the Asian Davis Cup qualifying tie, one that could present possible political problems. This draw is supposed to be a part of the Davis Cup Asia-Oceania Zone Group 1, as announced at the International Tennis Federation (ITF) headquarters on Wednesday.
Based on the world rankings, India was seeded No.1 in the Asia Pacific draw. They will be an overwhelming favourite to win and proceed on to the World Group qualifying round.
The tie is due to be held in September.
However, there is a niggling problem. The Indian government has severed away all sporting ties between the rival countries post the 26/11 deadly attacks on Mumbai in 2008.
— Davis Cup (@DavisCup) February 6, 2019
“We have to Follow Government Policy”: AITA
“AITA doesn’t have a choice,” said the All India Tennis Association Secretary General Hironmoy Chatterjee to the Indian news agency PTI.
“We’ve to follow the government policy. We’ll speak to the government to know. They haven’t allowed any sports team to travel to Pakistan.”
“It is a good draw for us with the depth in our team,” said the Indian captain Mahesh Bhupathi, who played in the winning doubles pair in 2006. “We’re looking forward to winning & getting back to the World Group Play-offs again.”
Neither he nor India coach Zeeshan Ali commented whether the Indian government should allow the team to travel to Pakistan.
The episode comes after a long history of sporting boycotts between the two countries. In fact, not a single foreign cricket team has toured Pakistan after Pakistan hosted South Korea and Uzbekistan on grass courts in Islamabad last year.
India’s Record Against Pakistan
India and Pakistan have met on six occasions in the competition. Three of those meetings came in consecutive seasons between 1962-4.
However, every time, it has been India who has been better of their neighbours. They have racked up an emphatic aggregate of 23-4 score in overall matches.
When the two nations were drawn together in 1971, the tie was not played with India awarded a walkover.
India has visited Pakistan on two occasions, both the times in Lahore. However, the most recent of those visits came way back in March 1964, one that India won 4-0.