All India Tennis Association (AITA) has been facing a lot of heat from Mahesh Bhupathi after the federation replaced him with Rohit Rajpal as India’s Davis Cup captain.
Bhupathi labelled some serious allegations against the federation saying that he was never informed that there was going to be “permanent” change in captaincy. Now, the AITA CEO Akhouri Bishwadeep has come out and opened up on the whole situation.
AITA CEO addressed the issue in a press conference where he emphasized that the federation has great respect for Bhupathi and all other players.
However, he added that it was Bhupathi who had informed AITA that the players were reluctant to travel to Pakistan to play the Davis Cup tie. Bishwadeep further added that Bhupathi wanted AITA to keep pressing ITF to change the venue and if they failed, he was in favor of taking the loser’s spot.
Bishwadeep then further cleared the air surrounding the appointment of Rohit Rajpal as the non playing skipper and recalled that when the decision was made to change the captaincy, the AITA had no confirmation about the new venue from ITF.
AITA decided to call an emergency meeting on 15th of October and in the meeting, it was decided that even if the venue was not changed, India would not back down from the challenge.
AITA CEO further insisted that Bhupathi had clearly informed the association that he was not available to travel to Pakistan as his family didn’t want that. Therefore, with change in venue looking unlikely, AITA decided to announce Rohit Rajpal as the new captain.
Earlier at the start of the press conference, the AITA CEO termed ITF’s decision to change the venue as a victory for soft diplomacy and quiet determination of AITA.
The newly appointed non playing skipper Rohit Rajpal, who was also present at the press conference, said that he was not bothered by security while accepting the captain’s job. In the same breath, he also added if he was asked to go to the border with a gun, he would happily do that for his country.
Rajpal further went on to say that he thinks AITA is very lenient towards the players and the players should not take that for granted.