Hamid sees Pakistan’s future in doldrums after Aqeel, Aisam

ISLAMABAD, Aug 2 (APP):Former Davis Cupper Hamid ul Haq believes the future of Pakistan in tennis is apparently in doldrums after current players – Aqeel Khan and Aisam ul Haq. He points out that it is the outcome of National Federation’s (PTF) poor policies over the years. Hamid, a Pride of Performance recipient, said PTF is not investing the way it should on junior players which had resulted in no replacements for Aqeel Khan and Aisam ul Haq for future. He said it seemed some advisors to PTF President Salim Saifullah has been misguiding him which had resulted in the downfall of the game.

Hamid said he as a coach made Pakistan won four Davis Cups but parted ways with PTF just because of the same reason. “PTF has never given cash rewards to junior players of the Davis Cup team,” he claimed.

He said Pakistan lost to India in Under-12 South Asian event without winning a single game in three matches. We also lost to Bangladesh in the same tournament. Pakistan team finished 6th out of seven in the Fed Cup qualifying and came 13th out of 16 teams in the Davis Cup Junior, he said.

Coming to the Pakistan-India Davis Cup tie set on September 14 and 15 here at Pakistan Sports Complex, he said International Tennis Federation (ITF) has a very strict policy if any team fails or declines to go for the tie, then it is fined and banned from international tournaments.

“Hong Kong was fined and barred from international tournaments when it declined to visit Pakistan for the tie in 2017,” he said.

However, shedding light towards the Pak-India tie, he said the Indian team aspirants Ramkumar Ramanathan and Prajnesh Gunneswaran (World No 90) are better as they are engaged in international tournaments all year round. “India has a developed tennis system, therefore they have been producing good players over the time,” he said and added Divij Sharan and Rohan Bopanna are ranked in the top fifty when it comes to doubles.

India has won six Davis Cup ties against Pakistan in 1962, 1963, 1964, 1970, 1973 and 2006.

He said at our times Davis Cup camps were long-term and junior players were attached with seniors to become skilled in the game. “Now the players don’t bother to come in camps which are the reasons they do not excel in the game,” he said.

Talking about the replacements for Aqeel and Aisam who had been playing for almost 15 to 20 years, Hamid said why the tennis academy wasn’t established earlier. “The rackets and tennis balls do not reach the players which are being provided by ITF,” he claimed.

“Coaches and players were not paid daily allowances during the Davis Cup tie against South Korea,” he alleged. However, he said Abid Ali is a good player but investment needs to be done on him.

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