New Delhi: India’s top players on Sunday made themselves available for the next Davis Cup tie in April after inking a conditional truce with the country’s tennis federation.
Eleven players had declined to play in last week’s Asia-Oceania group one tie against South Korea in New Delhi following a dispute with the All India Tennis Association (AITA).
India, with three debutants in the ranks, were thrashed 4-1 and must now defeat Indonesia in Bangalore from 5-7 April to avoid being relegated to group two.
An agreement worked out over the past week saw the rebels, who include Somdev Devvarman, Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna, announce they will be available for the Indonesia tie.
This followed an AITA letter to the players accepting some demands such as a higher share of the prize money from Cup matches, business-class air travel for ties and the players’ involvement in the choice of venues.
But the AITA refused to remove non-playing captain Shiv Misra, as demanded by the players, who were also unhappy with the appointment of former Davis Cup player Zeeshan Ali as coach.
“We would like to confirm our availability for the Indonesia tie” the players said in a statement.
But their participation for future ties will depend on a final settlement with the AITA, the players added.
“Given that a number of the issues....remain unresolved, our confirmation of availability is limited to the said Indonesia tie,” the statement said.
The players were also unwilling to talk to a three-man committee formed by the AITA to resolve the dispute since it “comprised people who are biased towards the AITA”.
However, AITA chief executive officer Hironmoy Chatterjee said he was optimistic an agreement will be reached soon.
“We will continue to talk to the players,” Chatterjee told reporters. “It’s good that they have made themselves available.”