Pakistan players keen to play their Davis Cup tie in India

Pakistan's top tennis players want their next Davis Cup Asia-Oceania group II tie against Philippines to be held in India if the ITF does not allow Pakistan Tennis Federation to host the tie.

As per Davis Cup rules, Pakistan is due to host the tie against Philippines after they beat Lebanon in Lebanon recently in a group tie. But with security concerns leading to the ITF shifting Davis Cup ties from Pakistan in the last two years including the latest one against Lebanon, there are slim chances of the ITF allowing the tie against Philippines to be held in Lahore.

"The good thing is that the ITF has given us the option of choosing the neutral venue if the tie is not played in Pakistan," PTF secretary Mumtaz Yousuf said.

"We have spoken to the boys about it and while there are options, their preference appears to be India," Yousuf said. He said Delhi and Chandigarh were possible options to host the Davis Cup tie.

Pakistan's top tennis star Aisam-ul-Haq said that he did not see the ITF allowing the tie to be held anywhere in Pakistan. "That is why I think the next best possible option for us is to play in India as conditions are similar and we will get to practice properly on surface of our liking," he said. 

"We didn't have helpful conditions in Lebanon but the grass courts in India will definitely help us. Grass is also our preferred surface. The Indian authorities even agreed to host us last year and I think the PTF should consider it as an option. It will also help cordial ties between the neighbours," he said.

A ITF official said the PTF first needed to apply to either host the event or suggest a neutral venue as the choice is theirs.

"The ball is in their court. If necessary, we'll commission out an independent security review according to what the PTF suggests in their proposal." The PTF has also expressed its desire to host the tie in Dubai but is also keen to play in India where it expects support from locals as well as the travelling Pakistan fans.

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