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Mutiny took Leander by surprise: Vece Paes

New Delhi, Apr 14 (UNI) The mutiny in the Indian Davis Cup team had taken captain Leander Paes by surprise, his father Vece Paes has said.

''His first reaction was one of surprise. He wasn't expecting this at all. Leander is a team man and he has always worked to get the team right,'' the senior Paes told mediapersons here. ''He is proud to represent India in the Davis Cup and that is something which comes close to his heart.'' Four players of India's Davis Cup team including - Prakash Amritraj, Rohan Bopanna, Mahesh Bhupathi had written to the All India Tennis Association (AITA) last month that they would not play if Paes continued as captain, alleging that he put personal interests above the team.

But Vece dismissed the allegations saying that for Leander, the team has always been the priority.

''Leander is such a friendly guy. For him the team always comes first. But all this controversy has really hurt him. He has become really guarded now. But he has shown character during the controversy,'' he remarked.

Expressing his happiness after Leander and Mahesh decided to come together for the Beijing Olympics, Paes was confident the ''Indian Express'' will sort out their differences before the event and will be strong contenders for a medal.

''It is terrific to see Leander and Mahesh coming together.

More than that, it is good for both of them to play together.

They enjoy playing together. They gel well and are spontaneous on court. All the differences between them are off court. On court they play like a team,'' he said. ''They are both intelligent guys. They will work it out for the Olympics. They are a strong medal prospect in the Olympics.'' ''Leander and Mahesh are going on to play the circuits from here, Prakash and Rohan will be heading to play circuit too and they will be meeting before September world group play off. But at the moment their priority is Olympics,'' he added.


Story first published: Monday, April 14, 2008, 17:36 [IST]
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