India might have to withdraw from a Davis Cup play-off held in Pakistan, as the national tennis association mentioned on Thursday that the team is awaiting government approval for travel. The longstanding animosity between the nuclear-armed neighbors, who have engaged in multiple conflicts since gaining independence from British rule in 1947, has often impacted sporting events between them. The All-India Tennis Association (AITA) has sought approval from the sports ministry to travel to Pakistan, following the rejection of a request to relocate the fixture to a neutral third country by the International Tennis Federation tribunal.
The All India Tennis Association unveils the dream team set to shine in the Davis Cup World Group 1 Playoff against Pakistan! 🇮🇳 🎾
— All India Tennis Association (@AITA__Tennis) December 17, 2023
Salim Saifullah Khan, the president of the Pakistan Tennis Federation, revealed that 18 members from the Indian team have applied for visas for the upcoming World Group 1 clash scheduled on February 3-4. The last time the Pakistani tennis team visited New Delhi was in 2006, while the Indian Davis Cup team’s last trip to Islamabad was in 1964, as reported by India Today. In 2019, a match was relocated to Kazakhstan, with the All-India Tennis Association (AITA) citing political tensions as the reason for the move. Due to decades of animosity between the two nations, sports encounters between India and Pakistan are infrequent. Although cricket holds a significant place as the most popular sport in both countries, the bilateral series between their teams has not taken place in over a decade, and they usually only compete against each other in larger tournaments.