Somdev slams AITA's unprofessional conduct

Indo Asian News Service

New Delhi, Jan 12 (IANS) Indian tennis player Somdev Devvarman, who led a rebellion against the All India Tennis Association (AITA), said that the association has been acting in an unprofessional manner in handling their demands.

AITA named the Davis Cup team for the Feb 1-3 tie against South Korea to be held here, leaving out the rebel players.

"There is zero communication, there is zero professionalism and regardless of what the players have been trying to say, there just isn't any. Actually, this is a good thing because this has been going on for the past 20 years and hopefully, someone can bring in some change," Somdev told NDTV Saturday from Melbourne.

Eight players had threatened to boycott the Davis Cup tie if their demands were not met. Devvarman, Mahesh Bhupathi, Rohan Bopanna, Yuki Bhambri, Sanam Singh, Vishnu Vardhan, Divij Saran and Sanam Singh had signed a statement against "certain practices observed in the management of the Davis Cup squad" in what they said was an effort to improve Indian tennis.

"We are not asking for the moon. What players are asking for is to be kept in the light of what's going on, what's happening, what changes are being made and when we raise concerns, we just want them to be dealt with professionally," said the 27-year-old.

"We are just asking for basic rights that we as players deserve. Every one of us would have made ourselves available and would have played if the situation was dealt with in a professional manner."

"Nothing was given to us in writing, nothing was even said to us by any of the selection committee or any of the executive committee. All we heard was the last message they sent to us on the sixth of January," added Somdev.

A second-string Indian side with Leander Paes will now take on South Korea in the Asia/Oceania Group I clash. S.P. Mishra was retained as the non-playing captain while Zeeshan Ali was named the coach.