The Indian tennis team for the Davis Cup is all set to visit Pakistan after 55 years and the players, who are ready for the trip, are awaiting security clearance from the home ministry. India would most likely be led by Prajnesh Gunneswaran and non-playing captain Mahesh Bhupathi for the tie.
After much speculation, the Indian tennis players are finally set to travel to Pakistan to play their Davis Cup match in Islamabad after 55 years. The tie, scheduled for September 14 and 15 would see all top Indian players competing apart from the injured Sumit Nagal.
However, while the players are all “excited and available”, the players have maintained that they wouldn’t assurances of all security measures before they travelled. “We are not concerned. We are available and excited but we just want to make sure that all the clearances from MEA, Home Ministry are there,” said a source close to the players, reported PTI.
It has also been reported that the nation’s non-playing captain, Bhupathi has written a letter to the All India Tennis Association (AITA), enquiring about the same and the AITA General Secretary Hironmoy Chatterjee has revealed to PTI that he has clarified all the queries.
When asked if the federation asked for the Home Ministry or the Ministry of External Affairs’ approval, Chatterjee stated, “We fall under Sports Ministry and they have not raised any objection to us travelling to Pakistan. We need not go to the other ministries. Also, the ITF has laid down stringent norms regarding the security and the host nation is bound to follow them.
“An ITF inspection team has already visited Pakistan, so there should not be any concern. The Pakistan Tennis Federation has also sent us the invitation and soon the process to procure visas will begin. We will go,” he added.
The last time India travelled to Pakistan for Davis Cup was back in March 1964 that Indian had won 4-0. The most recent tie between the two controversial neighbors, however, took place back in 2006 Mumbai, which also saw India win 3-2.
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