Indian Davis Cup Team Optimistic About Travel Clearance for Pakistan Tie

The All India Tennis Association (AITA) is hopeful that the Indian Davis Cup team will receive the green light to travel to Pakistan for the World Group I Play-off tie scheduled on February 3-4. Despite awaiting formal approval, AITA Secretary General Anil Dhupar expressed confidence in the clearance process, emphasizing the non-bilateral nature of the tournament organized by the International Tennis Federation (ITF).

Approval Process

The AITA had formally approached the Sports Ministry seeking guidance on sending the national team to Pakistan. While awaiting written approval, Dhupar conveyed that the government typically refrains from interfering in events organized by the ITF. The sports ministry has forwarded the request to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), with the Home Ministry’s input expected before a final decision is reached.

Dhupar stated: There is a process involved. The sports ministry has passed on the inquiry to the MEA, and the Home Ministry’s perspective will factor into the conclusive decision. Anticipation surrounds the imminent clearance, with active preparations underway for both the tie and the ensuing travel arrangements.

Awaiting Confirmation

On the other side, the Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) is eagerly awaiting the final confirmation of Indian players and officials for the Davis Cup tie in Islamabad. PTF President Saleem Saifullah mentioned that the AITA had provided a list of 11 officials and 7 players for visa processing. However, the final arrival confirmation is pending until the AITA receives clearance from the Indian government.

Concerns and Deadline

Saifullah highlighted that there is a deadline for the All India Tennis Association (AITA) to send the final arrival confirmation. Failure to travel to Pakistan would risk the International Tennis Federation (ITF) considering the Davis Cup tie as forfeited, awarding full points to the hosts.

Historical Context

The last time the Indian Davis Cup team visited Pakistan was in 1964, securing a 4-0 victory in Lahore. In 2019, the teams were drawn against each other, but the All India Tennis Association (AITA) managed to relocate the tie to a neutral venue, Kazakhstan, citing political tensions between the two nations.

Outlook

As the Indian Davis Cup team anticipates travel clearance, the outcome of this process will determine their participation in the crucial tie against Pakistan. The historical significance and the complexities surrounding India-Pakistan sporting encounters add layers of anticipation to this Davis Cup event.

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