Anand Amritraj terms the face-off between the All India Tennis Association and the agitating players as a difference of opinion on some points which can be solved by mediation.
“Both sides have to sit together and sort it out,” says the former Davis Cupper, adding: “I am like an outsider in these matters and do not want to be telling people what to do. It has come to my notice that both (the federation and players who are agitating) are in agreement on many points.”
Eight players who made their availability for India’s Asia-Oceania group tie against South Korea subject to conditions were overlooked by the AITA selection committee. Leander Paes is India’s most accomplished Davis Cupper on the squad, abd the rest are rookies.
“My best wishes for the chosen team. We are lucky in the sense that the South Koreans we will face are not so strong,” he says.
Amritraj is here as mentor to and captain of Mumbai Blasters, slated to compete in the inaugural Amanora Maharashtra Tennis League.
Anand Amritraj had played the doubles rubber with brother Vijay in the Davis Cup final against Sweden at Gothenberg in 1987 against the Swedish pair of Joakim Nystrom and Mats Wilander.
“Indians tend to have great hands. What we need to do is to spot singles players, for which great ‘legs’ are needed. The closest among the current bunch in that aspect would be Somdev (Devvarman),” he says.
Amritraj is positive about the impact of MTL on Indian tennis.
“Team tennis is a great concept, based on getting male and female players on the same side. It gets towns and districts behind the home teams,” he says, praising Mumbai Blasters owner Altaf Vahanvaty’s efforts.
“Amazing how they managed to do it in such a short period of time. I hope this idea spreads to more cities.”
Mumbai Blasters has signed on former Davis Cupper Sandeep Kirtane as coach.
The players on the team are Sanam Singh, Purav Raja, Kaza Vinayak Sharma, Ajai Selvaraj, Rutuja Bhosale and Eetee Mehta. Aashwin Lokhande is the manager.
The MTL will be played in Pune from January 14.