Indian tennis legend Mahesh Bhupathi was named as the next non-playing captain of the Davis Cup team on Thursday. He will take charge after the Asia/Oceania zone group I home tie against New Zealand takes place in Pune, from 3 to 5 February.
The tie against New Zealand will be Anand Amritraj's last tie as non-playing captain. AITA wants to give Amritraj a "farewell", and hence have decided to make the change after the next tie.
"Everybody should get a chance to be the captain. No post stays with one person forever. I personally spoke to Bhupathi and asked if he was available…he said 'yes'. That was it. Also, we wanted to given Amritraj a farewell tie," AITA Secretary General Hiranmoy Chatterjee said.
On being asked if Amritraj was happy with the decision, Chatterjee tersely repeated: "No one wants to go. But everyone deserves a chance to be the captain."
Asked if other players were taken into confidence before making the decision, since they had all rallied around Amritraj at some point, Chatterjee replied: "It's not their prerogative. We don't need to consult the players. Even Leander Paes was not consulted."
Speaking on the strained relationship between Paes and Bhupathi and whether the latter's elevation could prove to be the end of the road for the former, Chatterjee said: "We will cross that bridge when it comes."
On being asked if Amritraj's tendency to give leeway to players as far as discipline was concerned and his propensity to express his views openly in the media was a problem, the AITA top official did not deny.
"When a committee meets, we discuss a lot of things. But let me tell you that we did not receive any letter of support from the players," he asserted.
Chatterjee also said that no communication had been made with either Somdev Devvarman or Ramesh Krishnan regarding the coach and non-playing captain's role. Chatterjee also said that Bhupathi had not demanded any special favours.
"He has not demanded anything and simply said yes to the job. As far as remuneration is concerned, he will be paid as per our Davis Cup payment slab," Chatterjee said.
Updated Date: Dec 22, 2016 16:29:44 IST