Davis Cup: Pakistan disappointed by Hong Kong’s decision to withdraw

KARACHI: Pakistan’s tennis authorities expressed disappointment at the decision of Hong Kong to not travel to Islamabad for the Davis Cup Asia-Oceania zone II tie next month.

“It is very disappointing for us because, after successfully hosting our first Davis Cup home tie against Iran in 12 years, we were looking forward to organise the matches against Hong Kong and we had all security plans in place,” Pakistan Tennis Federation secretary Khalid Rehmani said.

The International Tennis Federation announced on Tuesday that Hong Kong had withdrawn from its tie citing security concerns.

Pakistan, which went without international tennis at home for 12 years, hosted the Iranian squad in January and won the tie 3-2 to advance into the next round.

The ITF had told Iran it would have to play in Pakistan although the Iranians also initially expressed reservations over security.

Rehmani said Hong Kong withdrew from the tie after first challenging the ITF Davis Cup committee’s decision that they should play in Pakistan.

“But after the independent tribunal ruled it was safe to play in Pakistan, Hong Kong withdrew from the tie,” he added.

He said the case will now be sent back to the independent tribunal to find out if Hong Kong had breached tournament rules by refusing to play in Pakistan despite ITF instructions.

Rehmani said the ITF had also only given the go-ahead for Pakistan to host Iran and then Hong Kong after being satisfied with the security arrangements made by the PTF.

“It is time foreign teams realised that Pakistan is capable of providing the best security and hospitality for them. The PSL final was recently held in Lahore despite tough conditions. What more does Pakistan have to prove to foreign teams,” Rehmani said.

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