Criticising the way Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes publicly sparred over Davis Cup selection, All India Tennis Association (AITA) said on Monday that it expects the veteran players to behave in a mature manner.
Bhupathi made public his chat with Paes to counter accusations that he used his position to exclude him from the playing squad.
“We expect these senior Pros to be more mature. The way they are going about it, we are not appreciating it. We have to talk to them and make sure they behave in a much more mature manner,” AITA Secretary General Hironmoy Chatterjee told PTI.
Chatterjee said Paes should have avoided making comments on his exclusion during the tie.
“Leander should not have spoken when the tie was on. Mahesh did the right thing by speaking after the tie was over,” Chatterjee felt.
The senior AITA official said he has seen the WhatsApp chat between Paes and Bhupathi and the effort now is to bring them together and sort out the issues.
“I have also seen it and discussed it with Leander. I am going to sit and talk to both of them when I get time since they are both travelling.
“I do intend to bring them together. They will settle it. They are mature people but the reactions they have given could have been much better,” he said.
Bhupathi, in his Facebook Post, had mentioned that he has the backing of establishment in implementing his ideas as he strives to get the team back to World Group. Chatterjee endorsed the non-playing captain’s view.
“Well whatever he wants to do and whatever he has said, definitely he has been interacting with the Federation and there is no doubt about that. He has discussed everything with us. There are no issues with that,” he said.
After Bhupathi claimed that personal agenda was not behind Paes’ exclusion, the latter issued a statement that he was never categorically told that he will not be in the playing four and that’s what he found disrespectful.
The Lee-Hesh saga goes back to late 1990s and their acrimonious relationship has been a talking point in Indian tennis.