AITA didn't communicate properly, claims Somdev

New Delhi: A day after All India Tennis Association (AITA) selected a new squad for the Davis Cup tie against Korea, the rebel players continued to slam the national body for its "unprofessional" conduct and said it never made a proper attempt to communicate with the disgruntled stars.

The most scathing attack came from Somdev Dev Varman. Calling the revolt of the players as one of the "most remarkable thing" to happen in Indian tennis, Somdev said the "sacrifice" of the rebel group would help the future generation of Indian tennis.

So strong was Somdev's criticism of the parent body, that AITA was forced to issue a statement on Saturday evening. Equally contemptuous in its criticism of Somdev, AITA stopped short of calling the 2010 Asian Games champion a liar but said it was always ready for talks.

AITA was also quick to announce the formation of a proposed committee to look into the demands raised by the players. The committee, to be announced after the executive committee meeting on February 3, will be headed by a retired judge or a senior bureaucrat and a former tennis player.

Somdev, however, remained unimpressed. "There is zero communication, there is zero professionalism and regardless of what the players have been trying to say, there isn't any."

Somdev claimed the players could have reconsidered their stand had AITA communicated to them that some of their demands were met at the last moment on Friday.

"The last time the AITA wrote to us was on January 6. We were completely in the dark about the statement they came up with in the media on Friday. How are we supposed to reconsider our decision then," asked Somdev.

AITA firmly refuted the allegations saying it was in touch with the players throughout.

"We were personally in contact with Vishnu Vardhan till about 11:30 pm on Thursday night. We had categorically informed him that remaining demands (business class tickets for Asia Oceania Zone for four players and a squad of six players) have been met but the selection of the coach and captain is the responsibility of the AITA.

"He was also informed that Zeeshan Ali's credentials are impeccable. He assured us that he will contact other players, and would get back to us. We called up Vishu Vardhan and Sanam Singh on Friday morning (11th January 2013) but our phone went unanswered," an AITA statement said.

Eight players, led by Somdev, threatened to boycott the Davis Cup tie if their demands were not met.


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