The ongoing political and diplomatic tensions between Pakistan and India have hit sporting ties with several Indian players withdrawing their names from ITF Seniors World Ranking Tennis Championships being held in Karachi and Lahore.
The secretary of the Pakistan Tennis Federation, Khalid Rehmani told PTI that Indian seniors had withdrawn their names for the international event to be played from October 30 to November 6 at the grass courts of PLTA Tennis Academy in Lahore.
“Their withdrawals were received on the deadline date of October 21st,” he said.
He said Dilip Mohanty, Sheharyar Salamat, Parasad Apte, Gurdarshan Singh, Pawan Jain and Naresh Khatri were scheduled to take part in the 35 plus, 45 plus and 55 plus age category events.
He said India’s Parth Aggarwal had also withdrawn his name from the USD 5000 Federal Cup ATT Tennis Championship to be played from October 23-26 in Islamabad.
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Rehmani said the PTF was already anticipating the pullout by Indian players given the current scenario between the two countries.
“There is tension at every level even in sports, cinema and arts.”
Rehmani said due to the tension he and four other Pakistani players had also recently pulled out of an event scheduled in India from November 1.
He confirmed that Pakistan’s participation in the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Asian Tennis Federation (ATF) to be held from November 11 to 12 in Delhi is also doubtful.
“We will have to see how the situation remains but at the moment it is highly unlikely we will be able to go although it is a very important meet,” he added.
He said Indian players were always a big draw in the ITF sanctioned juniors and seniors events in Karachi and Lahore although the ITF was still not allowing Davis Cup ties to be hosted in Pakistan due to security concerns.
“We always get entries from India for the junior and senior events.”