Aisam-ul-haq Qureshi said he wanted 'to take a stand'
Pakistan’s number one tennis player Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi has pulled out of a Davis Cup tie in New Zealand later this month “to take a stand”.
The 2010 US Open doubles finalist remains unhappy that a 2013 match against the same opponents, held in Myanmar, was handed to New Zealand by the referee because of poor playing conditions, while Qureshi was winning.
Pakistan has not hosted a Davis Cup tie since 2005 and plays its home matches in neutral venues because of security concerns. Qureshi tweeted on Monday (5): “I believe we need to make a stand for our country rights, especially nowadays when unfortunately no place is safe.”
His father Ehtisham-ul-Haq added: “Aisam is not in the right frame of mind and to pre-empt any further controversy, he has pulled out of the tie.”
The Pakistan team was due to travel to Christchurch for their Davis Cup Asia Oceania Group I second round play-offs from September 16-18.
Ehtisham added: “Pakistan had offered a number of options to save the 2013 tie but New Zealand’s approach was unprecedented… which they should have made up by touring Pakistan.”
Tennis New Zealand has hit back, saying that the decision to play in a neutral venue was made by International Tennis Federation (ITF).
“Pakistan had applied to the ITF to play the tie in their country but for obvious reasons (security concerns) that was rejected by the ITF,” TNZ chief executive Steve Johns explained.
“So, for Qureshi to say we didn’t want to go Pakistan is incorrect. We never had the opportunity because the ITF made its decision before we got to the point where we had to decide whether or not we would go to Pakistan.”