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Indian Davis Cup team hopeful of getting clearance for travel to Pakistan to play tie

The Indian team is likely to get clearance to travel to Pakistan for the upcoming Davis Cup tie against the neighbouring nation, the national federation said on Saturday.

The All India Tennis Association (AITA) had recently written to the Sports Ministry, seeking advise if they can send the national team to Pakistan for the World Group I Play-off tie on February 3-4.

“We have not yet got the approval in writing but it is likely that we will get clearance soon. We have been told that since it is not bilateral tournament and the one organised by the ITF, the government does not have a policy to interfere in such events,” AITA Secretary General Anil Dhupar told PTI.

“There is process involved. The sports ministry has forwarded the request to the MEA and the Home Ministry’s view will also be taken before a final decision is made. We are hoping to get the clearance soon.

“We are preparing for the tie and the travel,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) on Saturday said it is still waiting for a final confirmation of players and officials from India to participate in the Davis Cup tie in Islamabad.

“The AITF have sent us a list of 11 officials and 7 players who will be coming to Islamabad for visa processing. But we are still waiting for their final arrival confirmation,” Saleem Saifullah, the PTF President, said.

“They (AITA) have said they will send it (confirmation) once they get clearance from their government to travel to Pakistan. The list also includes their captain Rohit Rajpal besides seven other players,” he added.

On December 26, the PTI reported from New Delhi that the AITA had sought the Sports Ministry’s advice on the team’s travel to Pakistan Saifullah said there was a deadline for the AITA to send final arrival confirmation and if they didn’t travel to Pakistan the International Tennis Federation (ITF) would consider the Davis Cup tie as forfeited, awarding full points to the hosts.

The Indian Davis Cup team last travelled to Pakistan in 1964 when Akhtar Ali, Premjit Lall and SP Misra helped the visitors grab the tie 4-0 in Lahore.

However, India and Pakistan were drawn against each other in 2019 and the tie was scheduled to take place in the neighbouring nation.

But on that occasion, the AITA managed to shift it to a neutral venue, Kazakhstan, citing political strife between the two countries.

This time Pakistan team will be led by their top player Aisam ul Haq Qureishi and he will be joined by Aqeel Khan, Muhammad Shoaib, Barkatullah and Muhammad Abid.


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