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Personal judgment as official stand is not sensible

The AITA's stand that Australia be removed from the Asia-Oceania group is, frankly, not likely to find much support in the ITF, reports Sukhwant Basra.

sports Updated: Mar 28, 2009 00:35 IST
Sukhwant Basra

Chest thumping may not be the best way to handle an issue as sensitive as Australia's security concerns vis-à-vis India but then, it does make for good copy.

All India Tennis Association secretary Anil Khanna is a shrewd administrator who has made a whole load of noise to raise the stakes against the Aussies backing out of the Davis Cup tie in Chennai. Upping the ante and getting the emotional quotient of Indians soaring is logical as Khanna looks to get into a better bargaining position with the International tennis Federation. All of this could have waited as the final call is the ITF's and they will be in no hurry to paint one of the booming tennis markets of the world as unsafe.

The AITA's stand that Australia be removed from the Asia-Oceania group is, frankly, not likely to find much support in the ITF.

After all, Australia owns a Grand Slam and is far more of a tennis powerhouse than wannabe India. It is also against basic geography. Football's governing body FIFA has in fact included the country into the Asia zone after the 2006 World Cup.

Some of Khanna's earlier proposals to the ITF have included more equitable dissemination of prize money beyond the top-100 and tournaments with international points that will only have Asians. They and the dustbin should never have been separated at birth.

Khanna has listed 21 Asian nations that he feels have security issues.

That's not very prudent as personal judgment has become the official stand of a body that after all has the president of India as its patron. But then, he is also the president of the Asian Tennis Federation. It may be possible to drum up support to make a concerted stand against Australia.

As of right now players from the US, Germany and Britain are taking part in a men's Futures tournament in Kolkatta. So, India's perception within the international tennis community is far from it being categorised as dangerous. That is the only argument that AITA really needs to project.

Let ITF first declare India unsafe then cry wolf and thump some more chest.