“I hope things settle down and the team is back to normal,” said captain S.P. Misra, as he looked ahead after India’s 4-1 loss to Korea here on Sunday.
The 70-year-old Misra had no hesitation in putting the interest of the team ahead as he said, “if I have to be out, I will be out”.
Referring to the ‘rebels’ boycotting the tie, Misra said: “The players are the ultimate losers.”
He said that none of the players chose to communicate through him, perhaps because they wanted his ouster as one of the demands. “They never came across to me. Maybe, they don’t want to face me,” he said.
He pointed that the lack of communication was a mystery to him and said that the demand to have the concessions by the AITA given in writing was something that he could not digest. “I couldn’t understand that. Most of the demands were met.”
Despite making it clear that the players were at fault in the current situation, Misra said that he was for the players. “I am sympathetic towards the players. There should be a proper settlement. But, the demand to have a say in organisational matters and the selection of support staff was not correct,” Misra added.
Defending the selection of the venue against Korea, Misra said the slow hard court, painted recently before the tie at the R.K. Khanna stadium, was chosen keeping Somdev Devvarman, who had incidentally won the Commonwealth Games gold medal at the venue, in mind.
“The surface suited Somdev’s game. But he did not play. It was too slow for our players. The venue is usually selected with the consent of the players. In the last two ties, the team was not certain,” he clarified.
Recalling India’s last tie against New Zealand at Chandigarh, Misra said: “The young lads played well and we won 5-0. They are the future. I feel sad for them as we would have won had they continued. I am sure a situation like this will not come again.”