India will have to travel to Pakistan to win their Davis Cup Asia-Oceania Zone Group 1 tie in September if they want to once again book a place in the World Group Qualifiers. This, after the draw was announced at the International Tennis Federation (ITF) headquarters in London on Wednesday.
The concern here is not the qualification but whether India will travel to Pakistan to take part in the tie. No major sporting tours between the two nations have been allowed by the Indian government in more than a decade.
Unlike a sport like cricket where India's refusal to travel to their neighboring nation for a bilateral series has not resulted in any kind of punishment, failing to show up for a Davis Cup tie will cost the Indians dearly.
It is clearly stated in the ITF rules, a no-show by a team for any reason will automatically result in that team defaulting the tie.
With Pakistan having hosted three ties in the past two years, the situation becomes even more serious for India, who lost to Italy in the World Group Qualifiers in Kolkata in the first week of February.
In 2017, Pakistan had hosted Iran and then last year, they played at home against Uzbekistan and Korea.
Since Pakistan have been hosting ties at home, it will be tough for the Indian team to refuse playing there.
Now, everything depends on whether the Indian government allows the team to play in Pakistan, because if they are allowed, they will in all probability make it seven straight wins against Pakistan in Davis Cup ties.