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India’s Davis Cup tie against Pakistan postponed to November

Mahesh Bhupathi

New Delhi, August 23: India's proposed Davis Cup match against Pakistan to be held in Islamabad on September 14 and 15 was postponed to November after a security review by the International Tennis Federation (ITF).

The ITF said it was postponing the tie under "exceptional circumstance".

"Following an in-depth security review of the current situation in Pakistan by independent expert security advisors, the Davis Cup Committee has taken the decision to postpone the Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Group I tie between Pakistan and India in Islamabad, due to be played on 14-15 September," an ITF statement said.

"The Committee concluded that this is an exceptional circumstance while the first priority of the ITF is the safety and security of athletes, officials and spectators," it added.

It may be recalled that the All India Tennis Association (AITA) had asked the ITF to either postpone the Davis Cup tie or take it to a neutral venue "suo moto" given the current diplomatic tension between the two countries.

The security apprehensions remain and the players are jittery about travelling to Pakistan. However, withdrawing from the tie will affect the AITA as well as Indian Davis Cup team.

Forfeiting the tie would mean that India will be automatically relegated to the Asia/Oceania Group II. It means India won't reach the World Group Qualifiers before 2022, getting pegged back by at least two years.

It will have to compete in Group II in 2020 to earn promotion back to Group I and again spend 2021 in Group I to be able to compete in Qualifiers in 2022.

Team captain Mahesh Bhupathi had also said that India was not interested in forfeiting the tie.

"We look forward to working with the ITF to find a solution that guarantees the safety of all the players," Bhupathi had said.

The ITF said the tie has been rescheduled for November, with the exact dates to be confirmed by the Committee no later than September 9.

"The ITF will continue to monitor the situation in Pakistan and the Davis Cup Committee will re-convene to re-examine the security situation in advance of the tie," the world body said.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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Story first published: Friday, August 23, 2019, 9:23 [IST]
Other articles published on Aug 23, 2019
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