AITA forms committee to look into concerns of rebel players

New Delhi, Jan 12 (IANS) The All India Tennis Association (AITA) will form a high-level committee to look into the issues raised by the rebel players who have made themselves unavailable for next month's Davis Cup tie against South Korea.

AITA president Anil Khanna Saturday proposed the idea of forming the committee that would be headed by a retired judge or a senior bureaucrat and a former tennis player.

The committee will be formed during AITA's executive committee meeting here Feb 3.

"The committee will go into the matters relating to Davis Cup and arrive at a suitable agreement with the players and code of conduct for Davis Cup matches," said Bharat Oza, AITA secretary general.

Eleven players, headed by Somdev Devvarman, have refused to play for the Davis Cup if their demands are not met.

The players' demands included: 1) The team should comprise of six players to ensure adequate practice partners. 2) The decision-making process for choosing the surface and venue for home ties should involve the participation of all active players. 3) The team management should include a common physiotherapist and coach. 4) A revised agreement should be made for the distribution of Davis Cup prize money.

The AITA had accepted most of the demands Jan 6 but still the players were adamant on having a coach and captain of their choice. But the AITA refused to budge and retained S.P. Mishra as the non-playing captain and Zeeshan Ali as the coach.

The AITA was also forced to select a depleted team for the Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Group I tie against South Korea here from Feb 1-3. Leander Paes is the only experienced player while V.M. Ranjeet, Vijayant Malik and Purav Raja will be making their debut. Ashwin Vijayaraghavan and Arjun Khade are the two reserves.

Indian tennis players who have rebelled against the All India Tennis Association (AITA) Friday said they were disappointed with the national body for having selected an inexperienced team for the Davis Cup Group I tie against South Korea instead of engaging with them in a dialogue.

Besides Somdev, the other revolting players are Mahesh Bhupathi, Rohan Bopanna, Somdev Devvarman, Yuki Bhambri, Vishnu Vardhan, Sanam Singh, Divij Sharan, Saketh Myneni, Sriram Balaji, Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan and Vijay Sundar Prashanth.

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