Following the pull out of Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi and Aqeel Khan, the Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) is struggling to pick a team for the upcoming Davis Cup tie against India and now is contemplating on sending a junior team for the senior meet.
Qureshi, Khan and non-playing captain Mushaf Zia withdrew after the tie was on Tuesday moved out of Islamabad.
“The PTF will face a huge fine and more penalties if it decides to boycott the Davis Cup Asia-Oceania zone Group-1 tie in Kazakhstan. So, it has to send a team, but in the absence of top players, it is finding it difficult to pick the right players,” a PTF source told PTI on Wednesday.
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) announced Kazakhstan’s capital Nur-Sultan as the neutral venue for the tie thus dismissing Pakistan’s review plea.
Aisam and Aqeel, who have won plenty of doubles and singles ties, pulled out as a sign of protest after the ITF decided to shift the tie. The duo accused the apex body of taking the decision under pressure from the All India Tennis Association (AITA).
“There is a possibility that Pakistan will send a junior team for the Davis Cup tie which would be a mockery given the strength of the Indian squad in Davis Cup,” a source said.
Mushaf Zia, a former Davis Cup player, said they had decided to boycott the tie. “We protest this decision, it was the right of Pakistan to host Davis Cup tie here in Islamabad,” he said.
The tie was scheduled to be held in Islamabad in September but was pushed to November 29-30 after India expressed concerns about the safety of its players due to diplomatic tensions between the two nations following the revocation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir.