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Coach Nandan Bal mum on players' revolt

February 25, 2008 11:49 IST

Davis Cup coach Nandan Bal on Monday distanced himself from the controversy that engulfed Indian tennis after top players of the country refused to play under the captaincy of Leander Paes.

"Some of the players have written something. I don't know what they have said. I want to stay away from all this as it is between the players," Bal said.

However, Bal wants the issue to be resolved sooner than later.

"I think it should be sorted out as quickly as possible," he said.

In an unprecedented revolt, Davis Cup players Mahesh Bhupathi, Prakash Amritraj, Rohan Bopanna and Karan Rastogi wrote a letter to the All India Tennis Association (AITA) saying that they do not want to play under Paes because they have lost confidence in his leadership.

Anil Khanna, secretary general of AITA, said they will discuss the issue and a decision will be taken before India's next Davis Cup tie against Japan, scheduled for April.

"We will take a decision after due consideration in best interests of Indian tennis. We will take a decision before India's next Davis Cup tie in April," Khanna said.

Meanwhile, Akhtar Ali, a member of AITA's selection committee, termed the incident as "unfortunate" and said the matter would be sorted out after discussions with the players.

"We will sit together and discuss it. We will talk to the players individually and find out what the problem is. But whatever has happened is unfortunate. It is not good for Indian tennis," Akhtar Ali, also a former Davis Cup coach, said.

"Today, somebody is demanding that he does not want to play under some captain. But we have to think about the country and not an individual," Ali said.

Ali said the present situation is not going to help Indian tennis when the team was not doing well in Davis Cup.

"We are not able to qualify for the World Group for a long time. Even in the Asian Zone we are struggling. And now this controversy. These are not good signs for Indian tennis," Ali said.

He said AITA would try to field the best team in the forthcoming second round tie against Japan.

"AITA would do everything to sort out the matter. For us, Davis Cup is very important. We want to field our best players. We must sort it out for the country."

Ali also criticised bigwigs Bhupathi and Paes for snapping ties, which had affected the game adversely.

"When they were playing together, they were world number one and the whole nation watched them play with a feeling. It was foolish of them to separate. Now when they play with different partners, who cares to watch.

"This is not doing any good to Indian tennis," he said.

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