- Indian tennis team expressed their concerns to ITF for travelling to Islamabad for their Davis Cup clash against Pakistan.
- Concern over security raised after India removed the Article 370 that gives special status to Jammu-Kashmir
- Security situation will be reviewed on November 4 to conclude the fate of the fixture.
The Indian tennis team has expressed its unwillingness to travel to Pakistan to participate in the Asia Oceania Group I tie of the Davis Cup. The games were supposed to be held in Islamabad. But the Indian team has refused to travel to the neighbouring nation due to the unstable relationship between India and Pakistan.
The reluctance to travel comes after India lifted the Article 370 which gave special recognition to Jammu-Kashmir, a move that did not go down well in Pakistan.
The tennis team approached the All India Tennis Association (AITA) to seek the help of International Tennis Federation (ITF) and possibly shift the games to a neutral venue. Sensing a security threat, the Indian team expressed their concerns to the AITA. New dates for the Davis Cup tie were announced in September. The clash was scheduled to be played in Islamabad either between November 29-30 or November 30-December 1.
AITA said in a statement that the security situation would be reviewed on November 4 to determine whether it is ok to play in Islamabad or shift the games to a neutral venue.
Initially, the ITF had dismissed AITA’s demands to either postpone the fixtures or shift them to a neutral venue. India previously found themselves in a similar situation when their Davis Cup tie against the USA which was going to be held on September 21-23, was postponed due to the 9/11 terror attacks.
According to the rule 230.2.5 of Davis Cup regulations, “A nation with choice of ground may lose it’s choice at any time if the Davis Cup Committee considers that it is not possible or practicable for the opposing nation to reach or play at the venue chosen for the tie, due to war, political unrest, terrorism or natural disaster.”
To speculate, Dubai could be a neutral venue for both India and Pakistan as the country has a lot of Indian and Pakistani expats who will be delighted to watch the two neighbouring countries face off in a tennis match.
India has a 6-0 record over Pakistan in the Davis Cup, starting from 1962. Last time both rivals faced off was back in 2006 at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai when Leander Paes won a decisive game, 6-4, 7-6, 3-6, 0-6, 6-1.
Leander Paes holds the record for India for most total wins (90) in Davis Cup.