KARACHI: Pakistan is set to play its first Davis Cup tie at home in 12 long years after the Iranian squad landed in Islamabad for the Asia/Oceania Group II tie from February 3 to 5.
Khalid Rehmani, Secretary, Pakistan Tennis Federation said the seven-member Iranian squad and the Pakistani players were both now preparing in Islamabad for the Davis Cup.
“It will be imporant for Pakistan tennis which has suffered a lot due to no Davis Cup tie or international tennis being held in Pakistan in the last 12-years,” Rehmani said.
He said the PTF with the cooperation of the government had made top security arrangements for the Iranian squad.
“It is after much difficulty we got the International Tennis Federation to allow us to host our Davis Cup tie at home,” he said.
Initially the Iranian Tennis Federation had also asked the ITF to relocate its Davis Cup tie with Pakistan to a neutral location but the world body decided to accept Pakistan’s assurances on security for the visiting side.
Many teams, including those from Muslim countries have refused to come and play Davis Cup in Pakistan because of security concerns.
Rehmani said Pakistan would be represented by top player, Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi in the tie which would be played on hardcourts.
Saeed Ahmadvand, the coach of the Iranian team said Islamabad is a beautiful and safe city but his players were under tough security cover.
He complained about the tough security rules of ITF imposed on them, adding that such a situation may affect the performance of the Iranian tennis players.
Vietnam, Hong Kong, China, Thailand, Indonesia, Kuwait and Philippines are the other competing teams in the Group I.
In the past years, Philippines, Indonesia, Kuwait, Thailand have all refused to play their Davis Cup ties in Pakistan and the PTF was forced to host the ties at neutral venues.