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HindustanTimes Thu,10 Jul 2014

Tennis

Revolting players stick to stand but AITA not worried
PTI
New Delhi, January 10, 2013
First Published: 23:41 IST(10/1/2013)
Last Updated: 23:43 IST(10/1/2013)

The All India Tennis Association (AITA) would be forced to select a depleted side to counter South Korea as none of the eight revolting players have made themselves available for Davis Cup selection so far.

AITA, which had set the Thursday deadline for the players to reach out to them, said it has patience to wait till Friday morning and anyone who makes himself available will be considered for selection.

Although none of the players have contacted AITA, it has been learnt at least two players have shown interest in turning up for the tie but could not confirm their participation as they are travelling. The five-member national selection committee will meet on Friday in New Delhi to pick the team.

The national tennis federation though was not bothered even if all the eight players continue to remain unavailable.

Putting up a brave face, AITA said they have players to put up a good show in the Asia/Oceania Group I tie, beginning here February 1. Anil Dhupar, Chairman of the national selection committee, said the young players in the past have proved that they can do it for the country. "Things are on right track. We will have a good tie. Even when the top players were not there for the New Zealand tie, we had a phenomenal result," he said.

However, in the New Zealand tie, which India had won 5-0, young players such as Yuki Bhambri, Vishnu Vardhan, Divij Sharan and Sanam Singh had all played well in the absence of Somdev Devvarman, Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna.

These very players featured in the September tie against New Zealand but now that all of them have joined the rebel group, AITA have very few options to choose from.

Asked if Karan Rastogi, who has played for country in the Davs Cup before, is an option, Dhupar said, "Every player is an option for us. The AITA will give us a list tomorrow and we will select a team from those available." World number three Leander Paes will be the only top player in the Indian team.

Going by the rankings, the other players available are N Sriram Balaji (324), national hard court champion Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan (423), Ranjeet Virali-Murugesan (517), Vijayant Malik (542) and Purav Raja (155 in doubles).


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