The All India Tennis Association has categorically stated that there will not be any change in the squad selected for the Davis Cup tie to be played against Korea at the R.K. Khanna Stadium from February 1 to 3.
In a clarification, following allegation by one of its vice-presidents, Karti Chidambaram, that the selection was hurried and that the AITA should have continued its dialogue with the rebel players so as to field the best team, the AITA stated that the selection had been done much in advance in all the previous ties over the last two years.
In a joint statement issued here on Tuesday, AITA secretary general Bharat Oza and the CEO Hironmoy Chatterjee, pointed out that when Karti Chidambaram was Chairman of the Davis Cup Committee from January 9 to September 20, the teams for the ties against Russia, Brazil, Serbia, Japan, Uzbekistan and New Zealand, had been selected about a month in advance on most occasions.
It was also stressed that “he did not bring up any issues of players” to the AITA then.
The two alleged that “young Davis Cup players were misled by a few interested persons by not allowing them to agree to the financial concessions given by the AITA” on frivolous grounds that the revised terms were not given in writing.
The AITA said that the revised terms were informed telephonically to three players who, in turn, were communicating with the other senior players competing in Australia.
Since the players did not express their availability despite the extended deadline of 12 noon on January 10, the selectors were forced to pick the best team from the pool of other players “willing to play for the country”.
The AITA also made it clear that all available players would be eligible for the next Davis Cup tie to be played in April.
It stressed that a special committee consisting of a retired judge, an eminent government officer and a senior player would look into all aspects of the concerns of the Davis Cup players.
“There is therefore no requirement for anybody to make an appeal to the players,” the statement said, while expressing displeasure about the vice president concerned going to the media instead of writing to the secretary general of the AITA.
The tennis association said that it would discuss the issue along with other matters raised in various letters of office bearers and other members in the next Executive Committee meeting in February.