The crisis in Indian tennis deepened on Friday, with the revolting players threatening to pull out of the upcoming Davis Cup tie against South Korea unless the AITA discusses their "legitimate" suggestions to improve the system.
The eight players issued a joint statement, insisting that it is not their intention to challenge the authority of the national tennis body.
"Given that all the information is now in the public domain, we wish to emphatically state that all of us are united in our stand against certain practices observed in the management of the Davis Cup squad. We are not looking to challenge the authority of the AITA, but are making a genuine attempt to change things for the improvement of Indian tennis," the statement said.
The players repeated their major demands -- change in support staff, a say in decision-making, revised agreement for distribution of Davis Cup prize money -- and said they will not play in Davis Cup unless the AITA engages them in dialogue.
"In light of the AITA Secretary General Mr Bharat Oza's statement that the AITA will introduce a disciplinary code for players before the Davis Cup tie against South Korea in February and that only those who sign the code will be able to represent the country, we wish to make it very clear that ALL of us are, regrettably, unavailable for Davis Cup selection unless the AITA is willing to consider and engage with us on our very legitimate suggestions in relation to the team."
The players said their statement should not be construed as an ultimatum, but a platform for change to ensure a better future for Indian tennis.