AITA hits back at Chidambaram

New Delhi, Jan 22 (IANS) The All India Tennis Association (AITA) Tuesday hit back at its vice president Karti Chidambaram for criticising the association's handling of the Davis Cup selection process.

Chidambaram had Monday criticised and questioned the handling and the selection process for the Davis Cup. He also questioned the association's 'obstructive attitude'.

The AITA replied by saying that when Chidambaram was the chairman of the Davis Cup committee why didn't he raise the issues then.

"Karti Chidambaram, who has raised the issue of Davis Cup selection was appointed Davis Cup Committee Chairman in the Annual General Meeting (AGM) held Jan 9, 2010 and continued as Chairman till Sep 2012. Mr. Chidambaram, while he was Chairman, did not bring up any issues of players' concerns with AITA," said an AITA press release.

AITA also added that they will not change the team for the current Davis Cup tie against Korea from Feb 1-3 here in the national capital as that will be unfair to the players who are practicing and preparing for the tie.

"AITA has already announced that it will be appointing a 'Special Committee' consisting of a Retired Judge, an Eminent Bureaucrat and a Senior Player to look into all aspects of the concerns of Davis Cup players. There is, therefore, no requirement for anybody to make an appeal to the players as all players will be considered for selection in the next Davis Cup tie which will be held in April, provided the players will make themselves available," said the release signed by AITA secretary general Bharat Oza.

"Chidambaram would have been well advised as vice president to write a letter to the AITA. Unfortunately he has written no letter to the secretary general but has gone straight to the media. AITA will discuss this issue along with other matters raised in various letters of Office Bearers and Executive Committee members in the next Executive Committee Meeting in Feb," said the release also signed by AITA chief executive officer (CEO) Hironmoy Chatterjee.

AITA added that the Davis Cup players were misled by "few interested persons by not allowing them" to agree to the concessions given by them in writing Jan 6.

"AITA had agreed to give financial compensation as desired by players (around Rs.24 lakh for this tie) and had, in addition, agreed to give Rs.3.5 lakh to a player ranked in top 100 and Rs.1.7 lakh to other players for travel expenses. This was revised telephonically Jan 10 and was informed to three players who were communicating with the senior players as others were in Australia that all players will be given business class tickets of Rs.3.5 lakh each.

"The deadline for players was revised from Jan 10 till noon Jan 11. The players did not make themselves available by frivolous excuse that it was not in writing! The selection committee had then to select the best team out of the players available and willing to play for the country," said the release.

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