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Rediff.com  » Sports » Rebels snubbed; depleted India squad for S Korea Davis Cup tie

Rebels snubbed; depleted India squad for S Korea Davis Cup tie

Last updated on: January 11, 2013 15:14 IST

The All India Tennis Association was, on Friday, forced to name a depleted squad for the Davis Cup tie against South Korea, snubbing the eight revolting players who refused to make themselves available.

The revolting players were given time till Friday to confirm their availability for the February 1 to 3 tie, but none of them budged from their stand.

The AITA's selection committee, which met in Delhi on Friday, thus picked a squad that has only one senior player, Leander Paes.

V M Ranjit (517), Vijayant Malik (542) and Purav Raja (155 in doubles) are the other members of the squad.

S P Misra will be the non-playing captain while Zeeshan Ali the coach.

The revolting players wanted Misra to be replaced as non-playing captain and also a new coach apart from other demands such as larger share in the prize-money and air travel upgradation.

Selection Committee chairman Anil Dhupar announced the team at a packed press conference, where senior AITA officials explained the association's stand and described the players' boycott as "unfair and unjustified".

The AITA claimed that the Indian players are offered the best remuneration in the entire Asian region and gave break-ups of some of the senior players' financial packages to back their claim.

In India's most recent Davis Cup tie, the team had beaten New Zealand 5-0 with young players such as Yuki Bhambri, Vishnu Vardhan, Divij Sharan and Sanam Singh in the absence of star like Somdev Devvarman, Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna.

Eight leading players, excluding Paes, had submitted a list of demands to the AITA?with a veiled threat to snub the regional first round tie in New Delhi.

On Sunday, the AITA agreed to most of the demands but it was not enough to convince the group, which includes Bhupathi, Somdev and?Bopanna, as they rejected the compromise formula.

Last year, the AITA handed doubles specialists Bhupathi and Bopanna a two-year Davis Cup suspension for their refusal to partner Paes at the London Olympics.

The trio figured in an ugly row ahead of the Games that forced the association to change their original decision to field Paes and Bhupathi as a pair.

Paes eventually partnered rookie Vishnu Vardhan while India had a second pair in Bhupathi and Bopanna, but neither duo returned with a medal from London.