A group of 11 players, led by Mahesh Bhupathi, revealed its displeasure at the composition of the Indian Davis Cup team for the Asia/Oceania Group I fixture against South Korea at Delhi from February 1.
Most importantly they also stressed their unavailability for national selection until the All India Tennis Association (AITA) engages with them constructively.
The group, which includes Bhupathi, Rohan Bopanna, Somdev Devvarman, Yuki Bhambri, Vishnu Vardhan, Sanam Singh, Divij Sharan, Saketh Myneni, Sriram Balaji, Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan and Vijay Sundar Prashanth, issued a joint press statement and the full text is as follows.
“We have just learned the composition of the team nominated by the AITA to represent India at the Davis Cup tie against South Korea in the first week of February. We are disappointed to note that instead of engaging in discussion with us, the AITA has selected an inexperienced team to represent the country in this crucial Davis Cup fixture.
“In making each of our suggestions to the AITA, we were guided by our strong convictions regarding what we believed was fair and beneficial to the future of the sport in the country and are dismayed to hear that the AITA has labelled our suggestions ‘unfair and unjustified’.
“The AITA’s position reiterates and reaffirms our stand, and we are constrained to state that, unfortunately, we will be unavailable to represent the country until such time that the AITA engages with us in good faith.
“We wish the Indian Davis Cup team that has been selected for the fixture all the very best.” — Special Correspondent