Officials have confirmed, Indian Tennis Team will visit Pakistan for Devis Cup Tennis Competition. The tournament will commence in September.
The Indian Tennis team will comprise of six players along with support stuff, captain and other officials. They will travel to the capital of the country, Islamabad in September for the two-day Asia/Ocenia Group I fixture, tennis federations of both countries have confirmed.
Following the terror attack in Pulwama and India’s supposed surgical strike, diplomatic situations have been extremely sensitive.
The secretary general of All India Tennis Association, Hironmoy Chatterjee commented to news agency ANI, “It is not a bilateral series. It’s a world cup of tennis. So, we have to go.”
Salim Saifullah, the president of Pakistan Tennis Federation told Al Jazeera he had received India’s list of delegation, which includes AITA president Anil Khanna, among others, and were officials were in the process of issuing visas.
He said, “We are making all efforts to make it a pleasant, safe and secure tie.”
Last week, a two-member International Tennis Federation team paid a visit to the Pakistan Sports Complex as part of a mandatory risk security assessment before all Devis Cup ties.
“They stayed at the hotel, they saw the venue, met the sports ministry officials and were quite happy.” Said Saifullah.
India has never lost to Pakistan in six previous Devis Cup encounters. Pakistan last hosted India’s Devis Cup team in Lahore in March 1964, when they lost 4-0. The two sides last met in the International team event in 2006 in Mumbai where India edged Pakistan 3-2.
Pakistan had not hosted a Devis Cup in the country for 12 years due to security concerns after the 2009 attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore.
They were finally given the green light by the ITF in 2017 and have hosted four Devis Cup ties since.
Indian tennis player, Rohan Boppana commented on the development, “I am looking forward to the Devis Cup tie in Pakistan. I have spoken to Aisam-ul-Haque Qureshi. He is a very good friend of mine and he said it will be fine. I have been there few times and I always found great hospitality from Pakistan. So, I have no concern about it.”