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AITA snubs rebels, picks second-string team for Davis Cup

 The All India Tennis Association was today forced to pick a depleted squad for the Davis Cup tie against South Korea, snubbing the eight revolting players who refused to make themselves available.

The revolting players were given time till today to confirm their availability for the tie to be held here on February 1 to 3 but none of them budged from their stand. The AITA's selection committee, which met here today, picked the squad which has only one senior player in Leander Paes.

Mahesh Bhupathi, Rohan Bopanna
Bopanna and Bhupathi are among players who were snubbed. Pic/ AFP

V M Ranjit (517), Vijayant Malik (542) and Purav Raja (155 in doubles) were the other members of the squad. S P Misra will be the non-playing captain while Zeeshan Ali will be the coach.

The revolting players wanted Misra to be replaced as the non-playing captain and also wanted a new coach apart from other demands such as a larger share in the prize money and air travel upgradation. Selection Committee Chairman Anil Dhupar announced the team in a packed press conference where senior AITA officials explained the Association's stand and described the players' boycott as "unfair and unjustified".

The AITA officials claimed that the Indian players were offered the best remuneration in the entire Asian region and gave the break-ups of some of the senior players' financial packages to back their claim.

In India's most recent Davis Cup tie, the team had beaten New Zealand 5-0 with young players such as Yuki Bhambri, Vishnu Vardhan, Divij Sharan and Sanam Singh in the absence of star like Somdev Devvarman, Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna.

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