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No difficulty in going to Pakistan to participate in Davis Cup: Hironmoy Chatterjee


ANI Tennis
After confirming India's participation in the Davis Cup slated to be played in Pakistan in September this year, All India Tennis Association's (AITA) Secretary-General Hironmoy Chatterjee on Sunday said that there is no difficulty in going to Pakistan to take part in the tournament.
"This time we have drawn them once again, so it is our honour to play them in Pakistan and we will go. Our players have fought really hard to come to this stage, it is important to play the tournament. We will be going, and there is no difficulty in going to Pakistan to play," Chatterjee told ANI.
"When we drew Pakistan to play them here in 2006, they came to India. It's not a bilateral series, and since it is not a bilateral series, there is no embargo. Davis Cup is the World Cup of tennis. In the hockey World Cup, Pakistan came here to play the tournament," he added.
On asked whether the federation sought government's approval, the Secretary-General said that the federation does not need approval for events like Davis Cup. He added that since the tournament is the World Cup of tennis, the team have to go to Pakistan.
"In the Commonwealth Games, Asian games, federation needs government's clearance. As far as other events go, the government says the clearance is not required. Since it's a World Cup and the penalty is quite high, we have to go to Pakistan to play," Chatterjee said.
"We haven't applied for the visas yet. There's a process, we have just got the invitation letters from Pakistan's Tennis Federation. We will start the visa process now," he added.
This will be the first time in 55 years that India will travel to Pakistan to participate in the Davis Cup.
The Davis Cup draw was rolled out in February this year, but after the Pulwama attack on February 14, the future of Indian tennis team touring Pakistan looked really bleak.
Indian cricket team had last toured Pakistan in 2007, and after that, no team across any sport in the country has toured Pakistan.
"We are talking about sports, I do not want to get into the political aspect. We haven't done the selection of the team, hopefully, we will be doing the selection on August 5," Chatterjee said.
"Other teams have played in Pakistan. India is one of the teams that will participate in the Davis Cup, so we have drawn them, now we have to go and play. Last time when we drew them, they came here to play," he added.
India last played Pakistan in the Davis Cup in 2006 at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai, in which the hosts managed to register a 3-2 win to take India's head-to-head tally against Pakistan to 6-0.
AITA is yet to announce the final squad for the outing between the two neighbouring countries.

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First Published: Jul 28 2019 | 2:20 PM IST

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