Miscommunication. That’s all it took to reduce India’s challenge in the Davis Cup, to be held at Delhi February 1-3, from formidable to third-string.
Indian tennis has been in throes of a rebellion with 11 top players refusing to play for the country unless the national tennis body gets more ‘professional’. While the federation on Friday blamed the rebels for being non-compromising and announced a rookie team, on Saturday it turned out that no one had communicated the body’s capitulation to the players’ demands to the concerned party.
“Had we known that they had conceded on issues like a six-player team and equal treatment for all, we would have been available to play. But we are shocked to learn that they told the press we refused to budge. This is unethical,” said Somdev Devvarman, India’s leading singles contender on ability and the player spokesman on this imbroglio.
Such is the mistrust between tennis administrators and players in India that unless everything is in black and white, neither side believes the other. The All India Tennis Association (AITA) issued a release claiming that the offer was made over the phone.
“It is difficult to have an understanding based on trust for they have reneged on promises far too often,” said Devvarman.
The AITA is not likely to have fresh selection in the wake of the players making themselves ‘available’, but India’s tennis challenge in Davis Cup is certainly set to be poorer.