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Leander appointed Davis Cup captain

New Delhi: Leander Paes will lead the Indian Davis Cup team that will take on New Zealand in February, the All India Tennis Association (AITA) announced here on Friday.

The decision was taken by the AITA Executive Committee, which met here on Thursday after non-playing captain Ramesh Krishnan requested not to be considered for the post in 2004.

“The AITA executive considered various options and has decided to appoint Paes as the playing captain of the Davis Cup team for the tie against New Zealand in 2004,” it said in a press release.

The AITA also announced that the team will consist of Mahesh Bhupathi, Prakash Amritraj, Rohan Bopanna and Harsh Mankad. Paes, who is out of action since August after a brain lesion, is slowly regaining fitness but it is not yet clear when he will return to action.

It was also decided to introduce an AITA Award of Excellence each year to the state tennis association, which achieves the best results in the development of the game. The inaugural award went to Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association.

The AITA has adopted the ITN rating system of ITF for rating players at all levels. In the first year, the Association expects to rate and register 200,000 players. The meeting also decided to conduct the second national coaches’ workshop to be held in collaboration with KSLTA from November 26-29 at Bangalore.

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