New Delhi: Upset over the decision of the All India Tennis Association (AITA) to ‘ban’ him from the Davis Cup squad for nearly two years, Mahesh Bhupathi is likely to target a senior AITA official for creating the entire controversy.
“Mahesh feels the AITA decision is illegal and arbitrary… A senior official wanted to show Mahesh in a poor light,” said a source close to Bhupathi. “On Tuesday, Mahesh will explain the situation at a media conference in Mumbai,” he added.
AITA, on Saturday, said it will not select Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna for the national team till June 30, 2014 for refusing to accept the decision of the selection committee before the London Olympics.
The Bangalore duo had declined to pair up with Leander Paes in the Olympics and forced the AITA to send them as the second doubles team for the mega event. The duo, however, did not advance beyond the second round.
Bhupathi, it is believed, would point it out that AITA never bothered to give him a hearing before deciding to ‘ban’ him. “He should have been given a show-cause notice and a chance to explain his position,” the source said adding the Bangalore-based player might take legal action against the AITA.
“Bhupathi also feels that the senior official was trying to run him down for the last few years. This official had always been against him as he felt Mahesh was trying to break his monopoly in running the association. Some of the e-mails leaked by the AITA during the selection controversy were also doctored by this person,” sources claimed.
“Rohan has played for India for 10 years and I have played for about 18 years now. And to get slapped with something like this, I take this as a rough,” Bhupathi was quoted as saying by a news agency in Mumbai.
Asked if he felt the AITA action was because of someone’s personal vendetta, Bhupathi said: “Yes, I believe so. It’s been going on with the heads of the federation for years now. Rohan has been caught in the middle.”
On Saturday, after the AITA decision, Bhupathi had tweeted: “The cranky old grand fathers on the executive committee, who have never played tennis waiting for a reaction? There is one coming. Stay tuned!”