NEW DELHI: India’s tennis association will apply for visas for their Davis Cup tie against Pakistan next month but expects the fixture to be moved away from Islamabad, AITA secretary general Hironmoy Chatterjee told Reuters on Wednesday.
The Asia/Oceania Group I tie, originally scheduled for Sept 14-15 in Islamabad, was postponed by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) to late November following a security review.
“We’ve begun the visa procedure while waiting for a confirmation on the venue by the ITF,” Chatterjee said by telephone. “We’ve requested a change in venue and ITF has promised to get back to us by Nov 3.”
Pakistan was forced to host Davis Cup ties at neutral venues for more than a decade as teams refused to travel to the country citing security concerns.
They played their first home tie after a gap of 12 years against Iran in 2017, while Hong Kong was relegated and fined by the ITF after they refused to travel to Pakistan the same year.
Pakistan expelled India’s ambassador and suspended bilateral trade and all public transport links with its neighbour in August after New Delhi removed “special status” from its portion of the disputed region of Jammu and Kashmir.
Chatterjee said it was premature to talk about a possible pullout by top players should the ITF stick to Islamabad as the venue and was optimistic the governing body would shift the tie.
“Based on the current situation, ITF should,” he said.
Published in Dawn, October 17th, 2019