Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Indian Davis Cup Players Revolt

All of this helps me appreciate more just how good a captain Patrick McEnroe has been for the American squad.

Indian Davis Cup players have called for the ouster of captain Leander Paes for hurting team morale and confidence, a report said on Sunday.

he Times of India reported that four players -- Prakash Amritraj, Rohan Bopanna, Mahesh Bhupathi and Karan Rastogi -- sent a letter to the All India Tennis Association (AITA) saying they had lost faith in Paes's captaincy.

"We are not prepared to play Davis Cup if Leander is the captain. Sorry it had come to this, but up until now we did not have the courage to say anything and it only has gone from bad to worse," the paper quoted the letter as saying.

The controversy follows Paes's decision not to field Amritraj for the opening singles in the Asia/Oceania Zone Group I first-round tie against Uzbekistan here earlier this month.

Paes questioned Amritraj's fitness and commitment, although the player insisted he was fit to play.

Amritraj, son of legendary former Davis Cup star Vijay, eventually figured in the decisive reverse singles on the final day to script his team's 3-2 victory.

"Playing Davis Cup for India is our greatest joy. We live for these ties, and through the year we prepare ourselves so we can peak for these occasions," the paper quoted Amritraj as saying.

"He (Paes) has basically killed that joy for us."

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tangerine said...

Craig wrote: "All of this helps me appreciate more just how good a captain Patrick McEnroe has been for the American squad."

Agree. It seems to me that almost every nation suffers from egos, jealousy, or some other internal strife when it comes to their Davis Cup teams and captains. I am so thankful that our guys are not like that. Andy could not have been more right when he said that they were the ultimate team.

karena said...

Maybe Leander was being a perfectionist...but what's wrong with that? Maybe he just has to work on his communication style? :)

MMT said...

Paes gave 2 reasons for not playing Armitraj - 1) He wasn't fit and 2) he wasn't committed. Obviously he was fit, so that's a strike against Paes (why say he's not fit, and then play him in the same tie - if it's to make a point, it should be made in private). If he's questioning his committment, then that too should be done in private. Either way, Paes is airing dirty laundry, and obviously the players don't like that.

My guess is the players feel he's more interested in himself than in the team - shocking for a tema captain - which is always a risk when a captain can still select HIMSELF. This may be the root of the problem.

Kathy said...

I'm always leary of jumping to the conclusion that the one everyone is pointing the finger at is the bad guy. People are too easily manipulated by one bad apple in the bunch. But MMT, I like your reasoning. Especially the fitness part. That isn't a problem that can suddenly go away in a couple days. Thus Paes torpedoed his own assertion about Armitraj. Sounds like he was just trying to make an example of him to cow the rest.

Whatever. The US team is sure a great bunch of team players, aren't they? Something like this does make you appreciate them more.

MMT said...

True dat: U-S-A!