The India-Pakistan Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Group I tie will be played at a neutral venue on November 29-30. The announcement by the International Tennis Federation has come as a huge relief for Indian tennis. According to a statement by the ITF, following a review of the latest advice given by independent security advisors, the Davis Cup Committee has decided to move the tie out of Pakistan. India was originally scheduled to play Pakistan in Islamabad in September.
The Indian team, led by non-playing captain Mahesh Bhupathi, had appealed to the All India Tennis Association to request for a change of venue. In accordance with Davis Cup regulations, “the Pakistan Tennis Federation now has the choice to nominate a neutral venue and has five working days to confirm their proposed venue.”
“Following a review of the latest advice given by the ITF’s independent security advisors, the Davis Cup Committee has taken the decision that the Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Group I tie between Pakistan and India on 29-30 November 2019, must be played at a neutral venue. The ITF and Davis Cup Committee’s first priority has always been the safety of athletes, officials and spectators and the decision was made on this basis.
“The venue will be announced once the choice has been submitted and approved.” It will be interesting to see whether AITA will now make a U-turn and call back Mahesh Bhupathi for the tie. Bhupathi had pulled out of the tie due to security reasons and AITA had named former India player and chairman of the its selection panel, Rohit Rajpal, as India's non-playing captain. Interestingly, Rajpal told reporters after his appointment that veteran Leander Paes would be available for the tie.