The International Tennis Federation (ITF) approved the appeal moved by Pakistan through its tennis ace Aisamul Haq against a Sri Lankan referee and said the petition would be submitted before the Board of Directors next month.
Pakistan tennis star Aisam gave a one-and-a-half-hour briefing to the ITF Davis Cup Committee at the meeting held in London.
Talking to this scribe, Aisam said that he informed the committee about Pakistan’s reservations on the decision of the Sri Lankan referee due to which Pakistan were controversially disqualified from their ‘home’ away from home Davis Cup tie, played in Yangon, Myanmar, against New Zealand last weekend because of “unplayable” court conditions.
Pakistan was leading the match 1-0 when the referee declared New Zealand winner in the Cup match due to poor surface of the court.
The three-day Asia/Oceania Group II tie was staged in Yangon after New Zealand had refused to play in Pakistan due to security concerns.
The big question now lies is that if the Pakistan Tennis Federation manages to get its Davis Cup tie against New Zealand replayed, the big issue is where it will be held.
New Zealand were controversially awarded the Asia Oceania Group 2 tie because referee Asitha Attygalla from Sri Lanka deemed the grass court unplayable.
At the time, New Zealand were in danger of losing as Artem Sitak had lost the first rubber and Dan King-Turner was 3-0 down in the second match.
The tie was awarded to New Zealand because official hosts Pakistan could not hold it, for security reasons.
The PTF through Aisam appealed the result to the ITF and want it continued from where it was stopped but, if the PTF gets its way, the issue remains of where it will be contested and who pays.
Holding a Davis Cup tie is an expensive business and Tennis NZ CEO Steve Johns has no interest in further stretching his already thin financial resources, reports said.
Pakistan remains a no-go area for international sport and clearly Myanmar is off the radar. Also there are players’ fees to consider.
“To try to get eight players and captains to break their schedules would be extremely tough,” Johns said.
Planning is under way for the next tie, away to the Philippines in September, he said.
But given media reports, New Zealand would make inquiries to the ITF this week.