Zeeshan Ali back in selection committee

Jan 04, 2019, 09:14 IST | PTI

However, AITA had issued a press release mentioning Uppal's name in the new panel. "I have received the communication that I will be Fed Cup captain, so I am preparing for that

Zeeshan Ali back in selection committee
Zeeshan Ali

Making a U-turn, the national tennis federation has brought back Davis Cup coach Zeeshan Ali in the senior selection committee after realising that none of the other members had a direct connect with the players on the Tour.

At its recent Executive Committee in Gurugram, the All India Tennis Association (AITA) had removed Zeeshan along with head of the panel SP Misra and replaced them with former player Vishal Uppal and Ankita Bhambri. Rohit Rajpal, who was already in the panel, was named as the new chief while Nandan Bal and Balram Singh were retained.

"Zeeshan is someone who is always in touch with the players, so we thought we need to bring him back," Rajpal told PTI confirming the development. "From among all the current members in the committee, only he can provide the latest input on the players since he remains in touch with them as Davis Cup coach." Zeeshan replaced Uppal in the five-member committee. Asked if Uppal was taken into confidence before removing him from the panel, Rajpal said he was informed about the decision and he did not make any fuss about it.

Rajpal also said that Uppal did not attend the new panel's first meeting when the Indian squad for the tie against Italy was chosen. Contacted for his reaction, Uppal said he never received any communication in writing from AITA about his appointment in the selection committee, so there was no reason to be upset. However, AITA had issued a press release mentioning Uppal's name in the new panel. "I have received the communication that I will be Fed Cup captain, so I am preparing for that.

We will have a camp before leaving for Astana. I will try that we reach there some days in advance so that players get acclimatised to the conditions," Uppal said. Interestingly, Uppal was recently appointed as the new Fed Cup captain while Ankita Bhambri was made the coach. In the previous Asia/Oceania Group 1 Fed Cup matches at DLTA, Bhambri had acted as both the captain and coach.

Perhaps Uppal was handed the new post to compensate for his removal from the selection committee. AITA secretary Hironmoy Chatterjee said the Executive Committee had felt the need to try out new faces but after further discussion, the Federation felt that bringing Zeeshan back was not a bad option. Zeeshan said, he was glad to be back in the panel.

"I am always ready if AITA feels I can contribute in anyway for the good of the team. My removal was AITA's decision and I had accepted that. Now if they feel I am required I have accepted this role again," he said. "They know that I keep talking to players and have latest update on their form and fitness."

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