Tamil Nadu body asks AITA: Why the hurry in selection?

After its failure to resolve a deadlock with the players, the All India Tennis Association is headed towards more trouble, with one of its state associations officially challenging its selection criteria and decisions regarding the Davis Cup tie against South Korea.

The Tamil Nadu Tennis Association's secretary Nagi Reddy, on Wednesday, wrote a letter to AITA secretary general Bharat Oza demanding an explanation for why the AITA picked a depleted side on January 11 when ITF guidelines allowed it time till January 22 — a period which could have been used to get the top players on board.

"I had spoken to Anil (Khanna, AITA president) on 7th and suggested that the selection meeting be postponed as we had time till 22nd to announce the team. I had again spoken to you on 9th requesting you to consider postponement of the 11th meeting to ensure we had a strong team.. We at TNTA do not understand the urgency of the meeting and why our suggestions were not taken into account," the letter states.

The letter also says that one of the selectors, Sai Jayalakshmi, had suggested postponing the announcement at the selection committee meeting on Friday, but her opinion was not heeded. In the wake of this letter, the AITA will have to answer a few questions on its intentions in cutting short its dialogue with Somdev Devvarman & Co. and fielding a third-string team when they had time for further negotiation to redress the situation.

conflict of interest

Another issue raised by the letter is the presence of CEO Hiranmoy Chatterjee during selection procedures, contending that it represented a conflict of interest since he was also serving as president of the Bengal Tennis Association. "Kindly quote the necessary rules in the AITA constitution which allow the CEO to be present at the Selection Committee meeting either as a decision maker or as an observer," the letter says.

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