AITA sees a split among rebel players

Last Updated: Thu, Jan 10, 2013 14:39 hrs

New Delhi: The All India Tennis Association (AITA) Thursday said a couple of rebel players have made themselves available and hoped that others would also fall in line for the Feb 1-3 Davis Cup tie here against South Korea.

AITA chief executive Hiranmoy Chatterjee told IANS that he was hopeful that by Friday noon when the selection committee sits down to pick the six-member squad all rebel players will fall in line.

"We have received letters from a couple of rebel players, who have made themselves available for the tie. I am hopeful that better sense will prevail and before we sit down to pick the squad all (rebel) players will fall in line," said Chatterjee, refusing to reveal the names of the players.

"We don't want to reveal the names of the players because then they will be put under huge pressure from the rebels," he added.

Somdev Devvaraman, Yuki Bhambri, Vishnu Vardhan, Mahesh Bhupathi, Rohan Bopanna, Sanam Singh, Divij Sharan and Saketh Myneni had threatened to boycott the Asia-Oceania Group I tie if their demands were not met. The AITA had accepted some of their demands but the players were not satisfied.

The AITA last year sidelined doubles specialists Bhupathi and Bopanna till 2014 while Somdev, who led the rebellion, is ranked as low as 552 in the ATP singles rankings.

Bhupathi and Bopanna were also dropped from the last tie against New Zealand in September last year. The AITA has sidelined them till 2014 for defying the selection committee's decision during the London Games.

Other young players now may fall in line and make themselves available for selection.

Chatterjee said that Somdev will also be considered for selection if he sends his name to the AITA.

Chatterjee also said that Leander Paes has also made himself available for the game. Paes had skipped the last tie against Japan in September.

"Leander is always there. His experience will be a boon for the young team," said Chatterjee.

Chatterjee agreed that young players are made to suffer due to the tussle between Bhupathi and AITA.

"This time we have sent a strong message to the players that we will not tolerate indiscipline. We have accepted the demands that we could," said Chatterjee.

AITA's selection committee chairman Anil Dhurpar told IANS that the issue will be sorted amicably.

"We are a happy family. Such things happen in families and we will sort it out," said Dhurpar.

More from Sify: