In response to the withdrawal of 69 foreign players from the $10,000 ITF Futures tournament in Luckn­ow, which starts today, the AITA has said it is common practice.
In an email on Sunday, AITAstated, “It is normal for players to give entries for a number of ev­e­nts during the same week be­ing held in different states. Players are permitted to withdraw up to a particular date from any event with­out facing any penalty. The­refore, withdrawals are a normal process and in the case of Luc­know also the withdrawals have been regular and any conclusion being arrived at that this is for security reasons is not based on facts and is totally ill-founded.”
It further said, “AITA fails to understand as to how the tournament director in Lucknow gave a wrong statement without even understanding the rules of ITF.”
On Friday, tournament director JS Kaul, had said, “Fore­ign pla­y­ers have citied security reasons for their withdra­wal in their mes­sages to the ITF. Their re­spe­ctive governments’ have told the pla­y­ers to participa­te in the event at their own risk.” There are three for­e­igners in the main draw in Lucknow (two direct and
one after qualifying).
Looking at records from March 2012 (no women’s ITFs were held in April), one will find a comparative drop in entries. The $10,000 events in Auran­gabad and Mu­mbai had 16 and 23 foreigners in the main draw, respectively wh­ile the $25,000 tournam­ent in Ban­galore had 25. In March this year, two $10,000 events in Hy­­d­erabad saw eight and nine foreigners in the main draw, res­pe­ctively. The meet which conclu­ded in Chennai on Sunday saw four.