Former India tennis player Vijay Amritraj has put the government clearance and their take on India’s visit to Pakistan as the utmost priority asking AITA to follow it to the letter. The legend also recalled past Davis Cup incidents where India had boycotted travel plans to Israel and South Africa.
Ahead of India’s Davis Cup tie against Pakistan, which could see the Indian contingent going to their neighbouring country after as many as 55 years, a lot of security issues are getting checked and re-checked. And Amritraj has specially asked the All India Tennis Association (AITA) to follow the government’s call on the same.
“We should 100 per cent follow what the government says on the issue. They know the intricacies of what happens. I think the MEA and the Prime Minister’s Office will take a call. The global perspective in this scenario is very important,” he said, responding to a question as to whether India should travel to Pakistan, reported PTI.
The AITA, however, has got a clearance from the Sports Ministry, who has not raised any objection to the Indian team travelling, and India are expected to go to Pakistan in September. Amritraj delved deeper recollecting all the instances during the 1974 and 1987 Davis Cup when India had boycotted going to different countries.
Citing the 1974 edition, when India had reached the final and were supposed to play against South Africa but later backed out owing to the apartheid issue, Amritraj said, “It was a big call because India could have won the Davis Cup trophy. From a human perspective it was the right thing to do.
“It was important for India to take that stand... It was an incredibly heart-wrenching move. It was very difficult for us. As sportsmen and sportswomen, we don’t see the big picture...” he added.
1987 saw India getting pitted against Israel in a Davis Cup quarterfinal tie and there was yet another call to boycott the tie. However, Amritraj had taken it up with erstwhile Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi, thereby convincing him the importance of playing the match, which India then won.
Cricket FootBall Kabaddi