aisam-ul-haq qureshi, aqeel khan, davis cup, mohammad khalid, pakistan davis cup, pakistan new zealand davis cup, tennis, pakistan tennis federation, ptf, Asitha Attygalla, pakistan myanmar, pakistan yangon, Alistair Hunt
“When we were leaving Pakistan, some journalists asked why are we going to Myanmar. They said the situation there is very bad and we were risking our lives. But we faced no problems at all.” -Photo by AFP

NEW DELHI: If troubled Myanmar can host Davis Cup matches then Pakistan should be allowed to follow suit, captain Mohammad Khalid said on Thursday as the country continued to protest at being disqualified from a weekend tie. Khalid is still smarting after Pakistan were controversially disqualified from their 'home' Davis Cup match, played in Yangon, Myanmar, against New Zealand last weekend because of “unplayable” court conditions.The three-day Asia/Oceania Group II tie was staged in Yangon after New Zealand refused to play in Pakistan due to security concerns.

Foreign teams have shunned Pakistan since the 2009 attack on the Sri Lankan cricketers in Lahore and internal violence has forced Pakistan to play their home matches in several sports at neutral venues.

“Myanmar is having a lot of problems too but not in the cities,” Khalid told Reuters in a telephone interview, drawing a parallel between the trouble-torn Asian countries.

“When we were leaving Pakistan, some journalists asked why are we going to Myanmar. They said the situation there is very bad and we were risking our lives. But we faced no problems at all.”

On Friday, when Sri Lankan referee Asitha Attygalla awarded the contest to New Zealand, eight people were killed in a riot in Sumatra island following an argument over recent sectarian violence between majority Buddhists and minority Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.

“It's the same in Pakistan. There are some problems but it's only in the border areas. No problem in Lahore or Karachi. We can give them (visiting teams) high-level security,” Khalid said.

“We are looking at the ITF (International Tennis Federation). They should ask other teams to visit Pakistan. We want an ITF delegation to come and see the reality here.”

Pakistan were on course to take a 2-0 lead when Attygalla awarded the contest to New Zealand after a hole opened up near the baseline.

New Zealand captain Alistair Hunt said the match had to be abandoned because of the “inch deep and half a foot wide” hole.

Pakistan have lodged a protest against the referee's decision and double specialist Aisam Qureshi left for London on Thursday to meet ITF officials to press their case.

Khalid said his team hardly had any home advantage in the Yangon tie.

“There was no advantage actually. We just got the grasscourt we wanted. Aqeel (Khan) and Aisam have very good results on grasscourt. That's why we wanted grasscourt.

“Malaysia was not ready to host it, so we tried a different country and Myanmar offered to host it.

“If we could play in Pakistan, we could have had the crowd behind us. That's a big difference. In Myanmar, we faced hot weather and rain. We are not used to that. But we were happy that at least we were playing on grass.

“Considering our players' strength, we naturally would not have cut the grass so deep. But the Sri Lankan referee took his decisions without consulting us.”

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Comments are closed.

Comments (6)

Allaisa
April 11, 2013 2:26 pm
There is a difference though. In Myanmar only Muslims are not safe whereas in Pakistan no one is safe.
Silajit
April 11, 2013 3:38 pm
Despite being Indian, I feel for the Pakistani team that was at the receiving end of bad refereeship. This should not happen to anyone. But, whoever told Khalid that "the situation there is bad" has no idea that Pakistan is more unsafe than Burma. Patriotism and "we can also do it" is all fine but ask the Sri Lankan cricket team that got top security. Even hosting a game in the army barracks in Pakistan is not a guarantee of safety.
Silajit
April 11, 2013 3:53 pm
I feel for the Pakistani team that was at the receiving end of bad refereeship. This should not happen to anyone. Having said that, before making any suggestions about hosting matches you should check with the Sri Lankan cricket team. Yes even Burma is a more suitable contender for hosting matches. This is what things have come to, thanks to intolerance being taught systematically.
A. Khan
April 11, 2013 3:59 pm
And why are we treating Myanmar as a host country when so many Muslims are being persecuted there ?
John
April 11, 2013 4:05 pm
No playing team was attacked in Myanmar but in Pakistan it was. How can you equate the two?
Punjabi Yaar
April 11, 2013 4:38 pm
Yes Pakistan can too, after it catches and prosecute the attackers of Sri Lanka Cricket Team. Otherwise forget the resumption of any International sports event.
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