All India Tennis Association (AITA) hits back at top players' decision to skip the upcoming Davis Cup tie against Pakistan on Friday, November 24. India's top-ranked tennis players Sumit Nagal and Sasi Kumar Mukund have reportedly refused to travel to Pakistan due to different reasons and the association is not happy with their decision.
Nagal is ranked 141 in the ATP men's standings and remains India's best hope in the Davis Cup World Group I play-off. According to a report from PTI, Nagal has refused to travel to Pakistan as the tie will be played on a grass court which does not suit his playing style. Sasi Kumar Mukund has also conveyed his decision to AITA and cited 'personal reasons' to skip the tie.
"Nagal had conveyed to the team management long back that he should not be considered for the tie against Pakistan because grass court is not his preferred surface," AITA source told PTI on Friday.
However, the AITA is fuming over Nagal and Mukund's decision as India's chances to beat Pakistan are hampered gravely. AITA General Secretary Anul Dhupar criticised the players' acts and told players to let the administration decide what is best for the Indian team.
"This is wrong. When it's a question of serving the country why would you not do it? I have put the matter in the hands of the Executive Committee," Dhupar told PTI. "There is no choice for players if they want to represent India. My theory is simple. But I am nobody to take a call. The call has to be taken by the Executive Committee. If the player is sick and injured, I can understand but this is not the first time that Mukund has made himself unavailable for national duty. He has done it twice. Let the administrators of the country decide what's best for India."
India beat Morocco 4-1 in the World Group II tie and Pakistan defeated Indonesia by 5-0 to qualify for the Group 1 play-off. The Indian team was also scheduled to travel to Pakistan during the 2019 tie but both nations agreed to play the match at a neutral venue, Kazakhstan, due to security concerns.