Sharan decides against travelling to China

Sharan decides against travelling to China

Divij Sharan, who was a reserve in the Indian Davis Cup team, has decided not to travel for the away tie against China, a move which may soon pave the way for the introduction of the code of conduct for players.

The 32-year old Sharan is willing to rush to Tianjin for the April 6-7 tie in case his services are required but his decision has not gone down well with the AITA selection committee.

Sharan is the second-highest ranked Indian player in doubles at number 44 but veteran Leander Paes was given the priority ahead of the Delhi player along with Rohan Bopanna, the country's best-ranked player at number 20.

Paes is just one place behind Sharan at number 45 but his priceless experience won him the nod of the selectors for the away-tie, in which a win would put India in contention for the elite World Group yet again.

It's been learnt that Sharan was not keen to travel unless he was assured of a place in the playing squad. He may be justified in skipping the tie since his chances of playing in this fixture were highly unlikely.

However, his absence may prove costly as a last-minute injury to either Paes or Bopanna would put India in a spot of bother as Yuki Bhambri, too, has pulled out of the tie due to a minor abdomen injury.

Sharan has communicated to the All India Tennis Association (AITA) that if the situation demands, he will travel to China.

While AITA has accepted his request, his move has irked the selection committee and the team management.

"He has written that he wants to stay back in the US and practice there but would be available to fly to China if required," AITA Secretary General Hironmoy Chatterjee told PTI.

An AITA source told PTI that this move by Sharan may hasten the introduction of a code of conduct.

"Perhaps the time has come that players are told clearly what is acceptable and what not. We are contemplating about a players' code of conduct which will be put in place soon.

"They have to play Davis Cup just one or two weeks in the entire year. We understand that they have points to defend and earn their livelihood but is it really that tough to sacrifice one week for the country," said the AITA source.

Meanwhile, Davis Cup coach Zeeshan Ali said once a player has made himself available for the tie, he should not back out.

"If a player has been chosen, to be in reserve, he needs to be there because if God forbid, a playing member gets injured and we don't have a reserve what do we do.

"If something happens to Rohan or Leander before the draw, to get another player from another Continent, and getting used to the partner and the conditions, it's difficult," Zeeshan said.


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