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Zeeshan, Mishra to continue

New Delhi: Despite opposition by a section of the players, the All India Tennis Association (AITA) has decided to continue with S.P. Mishra and Zeeshan Ali as the non-playing captain and coach of the Indian team for next Davis Cup tie against Indonesia.

The move, which was confirmed by AITA chief executive Hironmoy Chatterjee on Thursday, was a clear indication that the national federation was in no mood to succumb to the pressure of the rebel players.

Eleven top players stayed away from the Davis Cup tie against Korea after their list of demands were not met in full by the federation.

Chatterjee, however, said since AITA was sincere in its efforts to resolve the issues, it has written to Somdev Dev Varman asking for his suggestions on the surface to be chosen for the next tie in April against Indonesia.

“Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association has offered to host the tie. The courts there are medium-fast bouncy... We have written to both Mishra and Zeeshan asking them to send their views on the subject.

“We have also asked for Somdev’s viewpoint on this. If they are okay with it, we will host the tie there,” he said.

Before the Korea tie, the AITA was believed to have assured the rebel players that Mishra would be removed as a non-playing captain after the Delhi match.

Now that the players have raised fresh demands like inclusion in the executive committee and selection committee, the federation has decided to play hard on the Mishra issue.

“There seems to be no end to their demands,” rued Chatterjee. “They always agree to disagree. Now we see no reason to replace a good man like SP.

“I have strong suspicion that some people are behind these players, who seriously don’t want the problem to be solved.”

Though the players have rejected the three-member committee set up to look into the players’ demands, the AITA has decided to go ahead with its plan.

The committee would talk to top 20 players in the men’s and women’s section and submit its report.

The AITA had acceded to most of the earlier demands put forward by them such as increased share in Davis Cup prize money, business class airfare, apart from agreeing to consult the players while choosing the team and the captain.