With the All India Tennis Association (AITA) deciding to relieve Anand Amritraj of his duties as Davis Cup captain after the home tie against New Zealand in February, the former India player spoke to Sportstar on the same and his last match at the helm.


What are your first reactions?

I had requested the AITA for one more year and that I would then be ready to step down. But I didn't know till yesterday about Mahesh's [Bhupathi] name being considered as well. I mean as occupied as he is with the business interests, I didn’t even think of him. But fair enough. It’s their decision.

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Can you explain the reasons behind asking for a year’s time?

It was mostly from the stand point of the players wanting me and that we had three good years. By the end of 2017, I would be in a position to evaluate better as to where the team is going. Actually I am a little surprised by the AITA choosing to split it up during the season with Mahesh taking over after the New Zealand tie. It’s like changing horses midway.

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Were you given any reasons for your contract not being extended? The AITA Secretary Hironmoy Chatterjee has said that the alleged disciplinary breaches “were not issues” …

I was given no reason. But if these were not issues, then I don’t know from where this talk of me leaving even came up. It’s mind-boggling.

Coming to the New Zealand tie, Rohan Bopanna has not been chosen. Any particular reason?

Like any Davis Cup tie, it will be tough against New Zealand. On Rohan, it was the selection committee’s call. But I had made it clear that if I was the captain, I wanted three singles players. Yuki [Bhambri] is coming back from injury but he is one of our best. I can confidently put him on whenever I want. So I wanted him in.

(As appeared in sportstar.thehindu.com on December 22, 2016)