Indian tennis captain, Mahesh Bhupathi, has demanded a “safety guarantee” before travelling to Islamabad for next month’s Davis Cup clash against Pakistan.
The unusual demand comes days after the International Tennis Federation (ITF) responded to another Indian request for the second round of security assessment by a green signal to the safety plan in place.
“We just want guarantees on safety,” Bhupathi was quoted as saying by reports.
The All India Tennis Association (AITA) said on Wednesday they had written to the sport’s governing body once again asking them to shift the tie to a neutral venue or to postpone it for a couple of months until tensions simmer down.
In reaction to New Delhi’s unilateral action to abrogate Article 370 of the constitution and strip occupied Kashmir of its special status, Pakistan last week asked Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria to leave, suspended bilateral trade and all public transport links with India.
Tensions are soaring on both sides of the border ever since.
ITF has already responded to a previous AITA request, saying they were satisfied with the current safety plan in place in Islamabad.
The AITA has named a six-member squad under Bhupathi for the September 14-15 tie. The Davis Cup is the premier international team event in men’s tennis. It is run by the ITF and is contested annually between teams from competing countries in a knock-out format.