New Delhi, Feb 1: Yuki Bhambri, one of the rebel tennis players, Friday said if the All India Tennis Association (AITA) accepts all their demands in writing then they are willing to play for the country.
Eleven players, led by Somdev Devvarman, pulled out of the ongoing Davis Cup tie against South Korea raising a charter of demands that include change of captain, coach and doctor besides a bigger share of appearance money.
“We are ready to play if it (AITA) gives us in writing that it will accept all our demands. The (rebel) players have been in touch with each other and we have not received anything in writing from AITA on our demands,” said Bhambri here at the R.K. Khanna Tennis Stadium where he had come to witness the India-Korea tie.
“It is odd to sit in the stands. This is the first time I am coming to the stadium and sitting in the stands.
“The question is why can’t the AITA take the initiative and sort it out. Who doesn’t want to play for the Davis Cup… it hurts when your country loses. We were forced to take a stand… we are sticking to it. It is baffling that AITA can’t agree to concede our legitimate demands. Unfortunately, we are losing out as we are the ones who play for the country, not them,” said Bhambri, pointing to India losing both the opening day’s singles in the five-rubber Group I Asia Oceania first round tie.
Bhambri is hopeful that the issue would be sorted out to everyone’s satisfaction at AITA’s executive committee meeting Sunday.
On the question of logistics, the 20-year-old said it is illogical and not in the spirit of the team for all the players not to travel together in the same class.
“We should travel as a team together, we can’t have two players flying in business class and the others in economy. You can’t have Sachin Tendulkar fly in the business and Virender Sehwag in economy,” said Bhambri.