One of the biggest areas of contention in the latest All India Tennis Association vs Players battle was the selection of coach and captain, with the tennis body turning down the names short-listed by players, declaring they could not “expect to be a player, coach, selector and administrator at the same time.”
On Saturday, former India player Anand Amritraj threw some light on the matter, saying in a tight unit like a Davis Cup team, consulting players for their choice of coach and captain was not unheard of. “In the 70s, when Vijay and I, we played in singles and doubles, we used have a large say in the decision-making, not the composition of the team,” the 61-year-old, who was one of the names nominated by players as choice of captain, said in Mumbai.
“Vijay (Amritraj) was captain, Ramesh (Krishnan) was there. We got along fine and beautifully. We got along well with the federation. It always went quite smoothly. There is no reason why it shouldn't go along the same way now.”
Regretting that feuds within the Davis Cup team and against the national tennis body had become a trend in Indian tennis in the past five to six years, he said the squabbling parties needed to come to a conclusion soon enough.
“I don't know what sort of compromises it will take of both parties to meet midway, but the only thing that matters is that they resolve the issue.
“It's a shame. This whole thing is now a complete impasse. They (AITA) have picked a team. So you stand behind them and wish them best, hope they can get past Korea and then work out where you go from there.”
On paper, Korea might not look as threatening as Japan or Australia in the Asia Oceania Group I draw. But it will be a stretch for the vastly depleted Indian side, whose highest-ranked player is VM Ranjeet at 517 to take on the Koreans (their top-ranked singles player is world No 338 Suk-Young Jeong).
The young Korean team, promoted to Group I last year, beat Chinese Taipei in the 2012 first round and were able to retain their place in the group. The latest crisis has ensured that India live in hope rather than banking on best talent to beat the opposition. And the names of coach and captain on the team sheets will be the least of their concerns.