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Players were informed: AITA

sports Updated: Jan 13, 2013 00:07 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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After Somdev Devvarman lambasted the All India Tennis Association (AITA), calling it 'unprofessional' and 'unethical', the national federation responded saying the players were aware of all the developments including the business ticket issue.

Talking to HT, AITA CEO, Hironmoy Chatterjee said, “We were in touch with Vishnu (Vardhan), Sanam (Singh) and Divij Sharan over the past few days. Every time we conversed, they said they would discuss with the others and then respond. So, all the players were well aware of what was happening.”

Devvarman, on Saturday, said that the players had not received anything in writing from the federation and thus couldn't go into an agreement based on faith.”

Chatterjee claimed that the AITA was unable to get in touch with Devvarman but had told the rebelling players verbally that they had agreed to increase the Davis Cup team size to six players and give them business-class air tickets even for Asia/Oceania group ties.

“Most of the demands had been met by January 6, except for the ticket issue. That, too, we had communicated to the players that we've accepted. I can't understand why they are saying all this,” said chairman of the selection committee Anil Dhupar.

“We agreed to almost all their demands, even on the physiotherapist,” Chatterjee said. “At the last moment, Vishnu called and told us that if we changed the coach, they would be willing to play. They even gave us three names we could select from.” “The selection of the coach and captain is not negotiable,” Dhupar added.

An AITA press release on Saturday stated that, “We called up Vishu Vardhan and Sanam Singh on Friday morning (11th January 2013) but they went unanswered. AITA waited till 12 Noon for their response and since no response was received, the selectors were provided with a list of available players. We strongly deny that we have been unprofessional and unethical and believe that players should have made themselves available as was indicated to be a possibility by some players till late Thursday night.”

Chatterjee further added that the AITA was planning to discuss on February 3 the formation of a special committee, which would be headed by a retired judge or a former player who knew the nuances of the game. “The committee could interact with us and players to come to a suitable agreement,” he said.