AITA bans Bhupathi and Bopanna for two years on disciplinary grounds

All India Tennis Association (AITA) has decided not to consider Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna for selection in Davis Cup till June 2014, says a report in Deccan Herald, adding that the AITA had dropped the two on disciplinary grounds after they rebelled against the selection committee’s decision to pair either with Leander Paes for the London Olympics.

“The AITA had dropped them for the indefinite time ahead of India’s Asia-Oceania relegation play-off tie against New Zealand. Yuki Bhambri, Vishnu Vardhan, Divij Sharan and Sanam Singh were picked in the team with Saketh Myneni and Sriram Balaji as reserves. The young team on Saturday took an unbeatable 3-0 lead over the visitors,” says the report, adding that in its executive meeting that was held on Saturday evening, AITA decided to drop the two till June 30, 2014 and continue with the present team till the next year. “All India Tennis Association in its Executive Committee Meeting held in Chandigarh on 15 Sep 2012 had decided to continue with the young team in its Davis Cup matches in the year 2013 Asia/Oceania Zone,” AITA secretary-general Bharat Oza said in a statement.

Meanwhile Hindustan Times reports that All India Tennis Association (AITA) will stick to the young Indian side and will not include Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna in the Davis Cup squad until the country moves up from the Asia/Oceania Group. “The young guns have given India an unassailable 3-0 lead in the relegation play-off tie against New Zealand and the national federation wants them to carry forward the good work in the 2013 season when India will strive to re-enter World Group.”

"The young Indian team has done well. After a long time our team is 3-0 up. In Asia/Oceania zone, it will be good to continue with a young team," AITA president Anil Khanna said.

It is a clear indication that Bhupathi and Bopanna, who have been ousted from the side on the count of indiscipline, will have to wait for a long time to return to the side.

According to a report in The Hindu, emboldened by the performance of the young Indian Davis Cup team, the Executive Committee of the All India Tennis Association (AITA), which met here on Saturday, decided not to consider Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna for national duty till June 30, 2014. AITA secretary general Bharat Oza said the two players, who had refused to partner Leander Paes for the London Olympics, would be considered for selection, if required, for the next Asian Games.

AITA secretary said Paes had requested not to be considered for selection owing to the emotional turmoil he had endured in the run-up to the London Games.  “We empathise with him, and felt that he deserved a break. The selectors also felt that his services were not required for the tie against New Zealand. Paes will be considered, if available, for future ties.” Oza clarified.