Tennis – India have formally asked the International Tennis Federation to move their upcoming Davis Cup tie from Pakistan to a neutral venue after tensions between the two countries have escalated over the past few days. India were slated to travel to Islamabad for the Asia/ Oceania Group I tie that would be held on September 14 and 15 – it would have been the first visit by an Indian tennis team to Pakistan since 1964.
AITA President Praveen Mahajan commented, “We have asked ITF for a neutral venue because the situation is a bit unpredictable. I believe it is a reasonable request because of the current state of affairs. I am hopeful they will shift the tie because Pakistan is used to playing in neutral venues.
ITF will respond to our request shortly, sometime this week.” When India visited Pakistan the last time in 1964, India defeated the host nation 4-0. India also beat Pakistan 3-2 when the Pakistan team played in Mumbai in 2006.
It was only recently that Pakistan had started hosting ties once again in the country. Prior to that, they would host ties at neutral venues as many countries refused to travel to Pakistan over security concerns. Pakistan Tennis Federation President Salim Saifullah Khan had earlier said they would go by the ITF decision in case India wanted to have the match on a neutral venue.
India’s team will include Prajnesh Gunneswaran and Ramkumar Ramanathan – their top two players – for the four singles matches.