Ramkumar Ramanathan is set to lead the Indian Davis Cup squad on a grass court challenge against Pakistan, marking India’s first visit to the neighboring nation in 60 years.
The All India Tennis Association (AITA) announced the five-member team, including N Sriram Balaji, Yuki Bhambri, Niki Poonacha, and Saketh Myneni, for the World Group I play-off tie scheduled for February 3-4.
India’s last venture to Pakistan dates back to 1964, with the upcoming tie sparking anticipation as the AITA awaits the International Tennis Federation (ITF) tribunal’s decision on its appeal regarding security concerns. Despite India’s undefeated record against Pakistan in Davis Cup history, the AITA had requested a venue change, which was rejected by the ITF Davis Cup Committee.
AITA Secretary General Anil Dhupar mentioned that the squad announcement is crucial for players to plan their schedules, irrespective of the final decision on the tie’s location. With the tribunal’s ruling expected on December 19, the AITA remains hopeful that the government will grant permission for the team to travel to Pakistan, emphasizing the global significance of the Davis Cup.
The Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) has already made it clear that it will not field its team if the ITF decides to shift the tie to a neutral venue again.