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Tennis stars assure participation in Commonwealth Games

sports Updated: Aug 21, 2010 12:53 IST

PTI
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Ending the stalemate over a payment dispute, India's revolting tennis players today said they will represent the country in the upcoming Davis Cup tie and Commonwealth Games after being given an assurance by the Sports Ministry.

The star quartet of Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi, Somdev Devvarman and Rohan Bopanna had written a joint letter to AITA threatening to pull out of Games if their dues for the CWG preparations will not be paid.

The four players on Friday issued a joint statement, confirming their participation but also hit out at All India Tennis Association for leaking their 'private' mail and not submitting bills to the government for clearance in time.

They asserted that they have submitted all their bills to AITA and the onus is now on the national Federation to get expedite the reimbursement process.

"It is true that we wrote a letter to the AITA to voice some concerns we had about expenses that we were promised over the last year and a half.

"We have all submitted bills to various people at the AITA over this period and now that the AITA has nominated us to represent India we requested them to make sure that the promises made are kept.

"We would like to put all speculation to rest and confirm we will be present in full strength to represent India against Brazil in Chennai in September," the players said in the statement.

The players said they have been assured by the Sports Ministry Joint Secretary (International sports division) that all the dues will be settled soon.

"As for the CWG, Mr. Rahul Bhatnagar has confirmed to us personally there will be no issues on payments once the AITA releases all the bills we have submitted over time and more.

"The issue was meant to be a private matter between the players and the Federation and it deeply disturbs us that all our communication to the AITA was sent out to the media from the AITA office.

"We had no intention to create a media frenzy, just wanted to make sure we get what is due to us. We are hopeful that our genuine concerns will be addressed by our federation transparently without any delay.

"We will continue to be committed to play for our country," they said.