Players end rebellion, but discussions to continue with AITA

The five-week long crisis that rocked Indian tennis ended today as all the 11 players ended their rebellion and made themselves available for the tie against Indonesia, a day after AITA gave all the assurances with regard to Davis Cup playing conditions in writing.

Now India can choose from among its top players for the Asia/Oceania Group I 1st round play-off tie against Indonesia, scheduled for April 5-7 in Bangalore.

In the absence of top players, India suffered a crushing 1-4 defeat against South Korea last week.

Although the rebellion group is available for selection, but still there are issues which the players want to pursue such as their say in selection of support staff.

"We have got an e-mail from Somdev that all of them are available for the tie against Indonesia. So better sense finally prevails," AITA CEO Hironmoy Chatterjee told PTI.

The players have communicated to the AITA that selection is the prerogative of the federation but they would like AITA to consider their point of view while choosing captain and other members of the support staff.

It has been learnt that AITA is keen to persist with non-captain S P Misra in future but has no problem in taking input from the players in future decisions.

On the insistence of the players, AITA had relieved coach Nandan Bal, doctor Vece Paes and physiotherapist Sanjay Singh.

But AITA stuck to Misra as captain and appointed Zeeshan Ali as new coach when the players preferred Aditya Sachdeva.

The players, led by Somdev Devvarman, had put forward a charter of demands before the national tennis federation ahead of the Chennai Open.

AITA yielded to most of the demands but the players refused to play the Korea tie since they did not get a few assurances in writing.

Yesterday, AITA gave all the assurances in black and white and expectedly the players ended the rebellion.

AITA agreed to increase players' share in Davis Cup prize money, change the support staff and consult them for choice of venue and surface.

The parent body also agreed to give the players business class airfare, a six-member squad for even away ties, and agreed to consult them for the appointment of team physiotherapist.

The players have also demanded their representation in AITA Executive and Selection committees but the federation has rejected it.

The AITA had also formed a three-member committee to decide on a players agreement with regard to national duty in Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Asian Games and Olympics.

The committee will have its first meeting on February 22 and is expected to submit its final report within four months.

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