Let Pakistan stage Davis Cup matches - Khalid

NEW DELHI Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:32pm IST

A ball girl places balls on the racket of Somdev Devvarman during his men's singles match against Jerzy Janowicz of Poland at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne, January 16, 2013. REUTERS/Tim Wimborne/Files

A ball girl places balls on the racket of Somdev Devvarman during his men's singles match against Jerzy Janowicz of Poland at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne, January 16, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Tim Wimborne/Files

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - If troubled Myanmar can host Davis Cup matches then Pakistan should be allowed to follow suit, captain Mohammad Khalid said on Thursday as the country continued to protest at being disqualified from a weekend tie.

Khalid is still smarting after Pakistan were controversially disqualified from their 'home' Davis Cup match, played in Yangon, Myanmar, against New Zealand last weekend because of "unplayable" court conditions.

The three-day Asia/Oceania Group II tie was staged in Yangon after New Zealand refused to play in Pakistan due to security concerns.

Foreign teams have shunned Pakistan since the 2009 attack on the Sri Lankan cricketers in Lahore and internal violence has forced Pakistan to play their home matches in several sports at neutral venues.

"Myanmar is having a lot of problems too but not in the cities," Khalid told Reuters in a telephone interview, drawing a parallel between the trouble-torn Asian countries.

"When we were leaving Pakistan, some journalists asked why are we going to Myanmar. They said the situation there is very bad and we were risking our lives. But we faced no problems at all."

On Friday, when Sri Lankan referee Asitha Attygalla awarded the contest to New Zealand, eight people were killed in a riot in Sumatra island following an argument over recent sectarian violence between majority Buddhists and minority Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. L3N0CS1NF

"It's the same in Pakistan. There are some problems but it's only in the border areas. No problem in Lahore or Karachi. We can give them (visiting teams) high-level security," Khalid said.

"We are looking at the ITF (International Tennis Federation). They should ask other teams to visit Pakistan. We want an ITF delegation to come and see the reality here."

Pakistan were on course to take a 2-0 lead when Attygalla awarded the contest to New Zealand after a hole opened up near the baseline.

New Zealand captain Alistair Hunt said the match had to be abandoned because of the "inch deep and half a foot wide" hole.

Pakistan have lodged a protest against the referee's decision and double specialist Aisam Qureshi left for London on Thursday to meet ITF officials to press their case.

Khalid said his team hardly had any home advantage in the Yangon tie.

"There was no advantage actually. We just got the grasscourt we wanted. Aqeel (Khan) and Aisam have very good results on grasscourt. That's why we wanted grasscourt.

"Malaysia was not ready to host it, so we tried a different country and Myanmar offered to host it.

"If we could play in Pakistan, we could have had the crowd behind us. That's a big difference. In Myanmar, we faced hot weather and rain. We are not used to that. But we were happy that at least we were playing on grass.

"Considering our players' strength, we naturally would not have cut the grass so deep. But the Sri Lankan referee took his decisions without consulting us."

(Editing by Justin Palmer)

Australian Open

Reuters Showcase

Stake Sale

Stake Sale

Strong demand for Coal India boosts privatisation drive.  Full Article 

Pharma Deal

Pharma Deal

Sun Pharmaceutical wins U.S. approval to buy Ranbaxy  Full Article 

SpiceJet Bailout

SpiceJet Bailout

SpiceJet board approves up to $243 mln share sale plan  Full Article 

AirAsia Jet Crash

AirAsia Jet Crash

AirAsia captain left seat before jet lost control - sources  Full Article 

India Art Fair

India Art Fair

Art fair turns India's capital into art hub.  Full Article 

Romney Opts Out

Romney Opts Out

Republican Romney opts out of 2016 run for president.  Full Article 

Movie Review

Movie Review

"Rahasya" is an ode to Agatha Christie.  Full Article 

Safety Concerns

Safety Concerns

Aviation leaders seek new safety mandate after deadly 2014.  Full Article 

Movie Review: Hawaizaada

Movie Review: Hawaizaada

Movie Review: Hawaizaada  Full Article | Related Story 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage