Pakistan’s top player Aisam-ul-Haq says he will compete in the inaugural International Tennis Premier League,which is to be launched by Indian star Mahesh Bhupathi by the end of this year.
“I have been asked about my availability and I have told them I am definitely interested in playing in the league,”said Aisam who once formed a successful doubles partnership with Indian Rohan Bopanna on the ITF circuit.
Meanwhile,Aisam said he would be meeting Davis Cup officials this week to plead Pakistan’s case after the team protested the referee’s decision to award the Davis Cup
Asia-Oceania Group II tie to New Zealand last week in Yangon,Myanmar.
The Sri Lankan referee awarded the tie to New Zealand after ruling that the grass court was dangerous and unplayable.
But Aisam who was part of the Davis Cup squad claimed at a press conference on Wednesday in Lahore that the referee was partial. He minced no words in accusing the referee,Ashita Ajigala,of working for the New Zealanders.
The tie was awarded to New Zealand after Pakistan had won the first singles match and Aisam was leading in the second,causing outrage and anger in the Pakistan camp whose players initially refused to leave the court and had to be persuaded by team officials to return to the hotel.
Pakistan had chosen Yangon as the neutral venue after New Zealand refused to play in Pakistan because of security reasons — a dilemma that has hit Pakistan tennis for the last three years.
“I am not giving up on this issue because we were treated unjustly,” Aisam said. “I will apprise the Davis Cup officials of what actually happened and how the condition of the grass court was damaged after the first single and outside the playing area,” he added.
The Pakistan Tennis Federation has already lodged a complaint with the ITF over the issue. “I am meeting Davis Cup officials because I want to inform them the area declared unplayable was also outside the lines of the court,” he said.
“I am positive of a solution as the tie was unfairly awarded against us,” he added. He is also the only Pakistani player to have reached a Grand Slam final and recently paired with a new partner to win a doubles tournament.