Davis Cup: Indian tennis group to go to Pakistan after 55 years | Information

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India will tour Pakistan for a Davis Cup tennis competitors for the primary time in 55 years regardless of strained relations between the 2 nuclear-armed international locations.

A six-player Indian squad, together with the assist employees, captain, and different officers will journey to the capital, Islamabad in September for the two-day Asia/Oceania zone Group I fixture, tennis federations from each international locations confirmed.

The fixture was thrown doubtful earlier this 12 months following a spike in tensions between the 2 neighbours within the aftermath of the February 14 suicide assault in Indian-administered Kashmir that killed not less than 40 Indian troops.

The Pulwama bombing, claimed by the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM), triggered air assaults and compelled the closure of Pakistan’s airspace, which was solely totally restored earlier this month. 

“It isn’t a bilateral collection, it is a world cup of tennis. So, we’ve to go,” All India Tennis Affiliation (AITA) Secretary-Common Hironmoy Chatterjee, informed ANI information company on Sunday, including {that a} authorities clearance was not required.

Salim Saifullah, president of the Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF), informed Al Jazeera he had obtained India’s checklist of delegation, which incorporates AITA President Anil Khanna, amongst others, and officers had been within the means of issuing visas.

“We’re making all efforts to make it a nice, protected and safe tie,” mentioned Saifullah.

Final week, a two-member Worldwide Tennis Federation (ITF) group visited the Pakistan Sports activities Advanced as a part of a compulsory danger safety evaluation earlier than all Davis Cup ties. 

“They stayed on the lodge, they noticed the venue, met the sports activities ministry officers and had been fairly glad,” mentioned Saifullah. 

Renewing rivalry

India has by no means misplaced to Pakistan in six earlier Davis Cup conferences. 

Pakistan final hosted India’s Davis Cup group in Lahore in March 1964, after they misplaced 4-0. The 2 sides final met within the worldwide group occasion in 2006 in Mumbai the place India edged Pakistan 3-2.

Pakistan had not hosted a Davis Cup within the nation for 12 years as a consequence of safety issues after the 2009 assault on the Sri Lankan cricket group bus in Lahore.

They had been lastly given the inexperienced mild by the ITF in 2017 and have hosted 4 Davis Cup ties since.

U.S. Open - Day 12

Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi of Pakistan, left, and Rohan Bopanna of India reached the US Open doubles’ closing in 2010 [File: Chris McGrath/Getty Images]

Pakistan and India’s sporting ties have additionally been closely curtailed because the 2008 assault on the Taj Mahal Palace Lodge in Mumbai.

Regardless of the political tensions, gamers from each side mentioned they had been trying ahead to renewing their sporting rivalry. 

“That is going to be the largest tie of my profession,” Pakistan’s quantity two Aqeel Khan informed Al Jazeera.

“I have been taking part in Davis Cup for 20 years, however it’ll be an enormous tie for the nation, Pakistan tennis and for the upcoming gamers.”

Khan hoped that the house crowd will give Pakistan the sting in opposition to their higher-ranked opponents.

Indian doubles participant Rohan Bopanna, who reached the 2010 US Open males’s doubles’ closing partnering Pakistan’s Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi, dismissed safety issues over taking part in in Pakistan. 

“I’m trying ahead to the Davis Cup tie in Pakistan. I’ve spoken to Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi. He’s an excellent good friend of mine and he mentioned it is going to be advantageous. I’ve been there just a few instances,” Bopanna informed the Press Belief of India earlier this month. 

“I all the time discovered nice hospitality from Pakistan. So I’ve no issues about it.”

Comply with Saba Aziz on Twitter: @saba_aziz

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