India’s upcoming Davis Cup tie against Pakistan, which was to take place in Islamabad, is now likely to be held in Nur-Sultan, the capital city of Kazakhstan.
After India refused to travel to Pakistan citing 'security reasons', the International Tennis Federation (ITF) declared on November 4 that the venue for the tie would be shifted to a neutral venue. The Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) appealed against the decision, but the world body is now poised to shift the tie anyway.
“The ITF has not confirmed it yet, but it seems most likely that it will take place in Astana (Nur-Sultan) in Kazakhstan,” All India Tennis Association (AITA) secretary-general Hironmoy Chatterjee told The Indian Express. “The ITF hasn’t made the announcement yet, but they wrote to us today and told us to start the visa process for Kazakhstan for our players. They also sent us a list of hotels.”
The tie had initially been scheduled for September in Islamabad but the Indian federation wrote to the ITF asking for the tie to either be shifted to a neutral venue or be delayed by two months. Subsequently, the tie was rescheduled for November 29-30.
The AITA again approached the ITF to move the tie to a neutral venue in October, and the world body agreed. The ITF is expected to make the final decision late on Monday, but since they have reached out to the AITA, the Indian body is expecting the venue to be shifted to outside Pakistan.
“The fact that they’ve told us to start the visa process and given us hotel information means it’s most likely the tie will be moved to Kazakhstan. So we have started the visa process,” Chatterjee added. “It’ll probably be played on indoor hard courts since it’s very cold right now. It’s supposed to be around -10 degrees Celsius right now.”