The Indian Davis Cup team non-playing captain Mahesh Bhupathi will join the All India Tennis Association (AITA) officials during the conference/video call with the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Davis Cup board on Tuesday. The meeting that was originally scheduled on Monday has been postponed to 2.30pm BST (7pm IST) Tuesday, although the AITA has requested the world tennis body to bring it forward by a few hours.
“Mahesh Bhupathi will be part of the discussion, because players’ view is very important,” AITA secretary-general Hironmoy Chatterjee told The Indian Express. “We requested him (Bhupathi) to be part of the process,” he added. India are slated to play against Pakistan in the Asia/Oceania Group I Davis Cup tie in Islamabad on September 14-15. But given the present political situation in the wake of the Indian government’s decision to abrogate Jammu and Kashmir’s ‘special status’, the Indian players are reluctant to travel across the border due to security reasons. “Bhupathi has already told us that the players would prefer to play outside Pakistan. As of today, Pakistan is not a very conducive place for the Indian team to go and play,” Chatterjee said.
The AITA has already asked the ITF to relocate the tie to a neutral venue. Postponement has been presented as an option as well. The ITF, on the other hand, has shared its security plans with the AITA following a recce of the venue. Tomorrow’s meeting will discuss security arrangements for the Indian team in Pakistan for the tie, while the AITA will make another push to move it to a neutral venue.
“Today’s meeting was supposed to be held at 1pm BST. Now it has been postponed, we have sent an email to the ITF, requesting them to start the meeting at 10.30 BST,” Chatterjee said.