It is final now. India and Pakistan will play the much controversial Davis Cup tie at National Tennis Centre in Nur Sultan, the Kazakhstan capital, on 29th and 30th November, 2019. The Independent Tribunal of the ITF has dismissed Pakistan Tennis Federation’s review appeal and endorsed the decision taken by the Davis Cup Committee on November 4 that the tie should be shifted to a neutral venue, keeping in mind safety and security of players and officials.
“The ITF has communicated to us that the tie will be held in Nur-Sultan. We can’t say if they rejected the PTF appeal. In a late-night communication, they just mentioned the new venue,” AITA CEO Akhuori Bishwadeep told PTI.
The tie was scheduled to be held in September but was pushed to November after India expressed concerns about the safety of their players due to the prevailing diplomatic tensions between the two nations. Once ITF agreed to shift the tie to neutral venue, PTF had filed an appeal contesting the decision. It argued that if Indian pilgrims can visit Pakistan without any security threat, why can’t the Indian team play matches in Islamabad.
India picked an unprecedented eight-member Davis Cup squad for the tie against Pakistan, rewarding players who agreed to travel to Islamabad when top players had refused. Veteran star Leander Paes returned to the Indian team after more than a year. Top players Sumit Nagal, Ramkumar Ramanathan and Sasi Kumar Mukund had reservations on travelling to Pakistan due to security concerns. But once the venue was shifted they made themselves available. However, senior player Rohan Bopanna pulled out due to a shoulder injury, paving the way for Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan’s inclusion in the playing squad. Saketh Myneni and Siddharth Rawat also found places in the team.
The matches will be played on indoor courts due to extreme cold condition. “The quality of tennis is better playing indoors because factors like sun and wind do not affect the matches,” India coach Zeeshan Ali told PTI.