Pakistan will hold their first Davis Cup tie in over 12 years in February 2017 after the International Tennis Federation granted its approval to resume hosting Davis Cup ties. Pakistan was playing Davis Cup matches at neutral venues as foreign teams did not want to visit the country due to security fears. After the 2009 militant attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team bus in Lahore, foreign teams were hesitant to visit the country.
“We welcome the decision which will help tennis in the country,” Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) secretary Khalid Rehmani said.”Security has improved. Pakistan has recently hosted three international squash events in Islamabad so the situation is conducive now,” he added.
International sporting events have been rarely held in the country which has fought a homegrown Islamist insurgency for years, with foreign teams citing security fears ever since the 9/11 attacks on the United States, but on Wednesday Pakistan Tennis Federation secretary Khalid Rehmani said the International Tennis Federation (ITF) has given them the go-ahead to host a Davis Cup tie against Iran in Islamabad in February next year. Recently, Pakistan has also hosted several international squash tournaments and acquired four armored buses to transport visiting cricket teams.
Pakistan will play Iran in the first round match of the Asia/Oceania Group II that will be held from February 3 to 5. After losing to New Zealand 0-5 in the second-round Play-offs in the Asia/Oceania Group I in the away tie in Christchurch in September, Pakistan were relegated to Group II of the Asia/Oceania Zone. The top-seeded team in the Group, Pakistan have a 2-1 head-to-head against Iran.
Ranked 45th in the Davis Cup team rankings, Pakistan’s best results in the Davis Cup came in 2005. That year, they reached the World Group Playoffs where they were routed 5-0 by Chile.
Even the Pakistan Cricket Board has announced that it will host the final of their Twenty20 league, the Pakistan Super League, in Lahore in March next year. The inaugural season of the league this year was hosted in the UAE.