ITF snubs Pakistan once again as Davis Cup venue

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) was once again snubbed as International Tennis Federation (ITF) declined to allow Pakistan to host home Davis Cup Asia-Oceania Group-II tie against Philippines citing security concerns. The PTF also runs out of time to organise the home tie at a neutral venue, as the deadline for submitting neutral venue also expired on 28th of last month and now the Pakistan home tie would be held at Philippines from April 4-6.
It is pertinent to mention here that Vietnam had offered Aqeel Khan all out help and expressed their strong desire to host the tie as neutral venue for Pakistan and promised to provide every facility in this regard, but all of a sudden they demanded $100,000 for letting Pakistan utilise facilities. Already cash-strapped PTF was left with no other option but to look somewhere else. Malaysia was another alternative option but it was also unaffordable as they were also demanding hefty amount for their facilities.
Philippines conditions always remained nemeses for Pakistani players and they were beaten quite comprehensively by the opponents in all the previous ties for the last three years or so and situation would be almost same this time around. Pakistan's only international star Aisam-ul-Haq had always skipped the being played in Philippines and same would be repeated this time around too. Without Aisam, Aqeel could not single-handedly guide Pakistan towards victory.
Aisam's absence means Pakistan team would entirely depend on Aqeel. The other players Yasir is not performing on consistent basis even at local level and same is the case with M Abid who had already lost his singles match while playing against Vietnam and the fourth player Usman Ejaz, can't manage to beat any top player in national events.
Usman was part of the Pakistan team in the tie against Vietnam as the fourth player due to Aisam's international commitments. But Aisam at the eleventh hour agreed to respond to the PTF call and Usman's name was withdrawn. Interestingly Usman played an exhibition match against a reserve player in Vietnam where he was beaten all hands up. So there is a need to consider emerging players for the Davis Cup team and top performers at national circuit Ahmed Chaudhary and Heera Ashiq must be tried keeping in view the future of Pakistan tennis.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt