Ending the five-week long crisis, the 11 rebel tennis players have made themselves available for the Davis Cup tie in April against Indonesia.
A day after the All India Tennis Association (AITA) agreed to their demands in writing, the players responded in a joint statement on Saturday, saying, “We have confirmed to the AITA our availability to play in the Davis Cup tie against Indonesia, subject to all of the conditions and commitments in the AITA's letter being unconditionally complied with by the AITA.”
However, the players' statement clearly states that their availability is limited to the April 5-7 Group I Asia/Oceania relegation play-off tie to be held in Bangalore because “a number of the concerns that we have raised remain unresolved”.
“We are very happy that the players have agreed to play. They want to carry on talking with us. It's fine with us and we will continue to talk to them to come to a long-term agreement,” said AITA CEO Hironmoy Chatterjee. This thaw will allow the AITA to field the best Davis Cup team against Indonesia.
Responding to AITA’s email, Somdev Devvarman, on behalf of the rebel players, said that the group was unwilling to talk to the three-member committee formed by the association to mediate between the parent body and them.
“We are not available to talk with the new committee the AITA has formed as we feel they comprise of people who are biased towards the AITA.
"However, we encourage the AITA to constantly communicate directly with the players before and during the tie to sort out issues both parties have,” Devvarman's letter mentions.
In the loop
His letter also states that the players would want to be kept in the loop regarding non-playing captain SP Misra.
“As you have mentioned that the last tie against Korea was the farewell tie for captain SP Misra, we would like to be kept informed about who the next candidate for the job is. We do not expect to have final say on the matter but hope to have our inputs seriously taken…”
Regarding the Bangalore tie, the players want the courts to be resurfaced to make them medium paced.
“This along with the altitude in Bangalore plays to our advantage and to Indonesia's top players' weakness,” the letter further adds.
Due to the absence of the top 11, the AITA was forced to field a third-string team in the recently-concluded tie against South Korea, where the hosts were drubbed 1-4.