India is set to face Pakistan in an away tie in the Davis Cup 2024 World Group I Play-Offs, as per the draw ceremony held by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) in London on Wednesday.
As the host nation, Pakistan will have the option to select the surface as well the dates on which the tie will be held.
India had drawn Pakistan in 2019 also but due to “security concerns,” the Asia/Oceania Group I tie was shifted to Kazakhstan, a neutral venue.
As a mark of protest, Pakistan’s top players Aisam-ul-haq Qureshi and Aqeel Khan had opted not to play the tie in which rookies Mohammed Shoaib, Huzaifa Abdul Rehman and Yousaf Khalil competed for them.
Recently, India defeated Morocco 4-1 in Rohan Bopanna’s final Davis Cup tie while Pakistan clean swept Indonesia 5-0 in its World Group II tie to qualify for next year’s World Group I Play-offs. India leads the head-to-head record against Pakistan, having won all seven ties.
Pakistan’s veteran player Aqeel Khan told PTI that they are hoping for the Indian team to travel to their nation.
“I hope they come and give us a chance to host,” Aqeel, 43, said.
PTF President Salim Saifullah Khan said they will host India on grass court.
“They should come to Pakistan. It’s not fair that they do not come to Pakistan. The Indian team is much better than us. We have a beautiful hotel just across the stadium. If Indians come it will send a good message that we are good neighbours,” Saifullah Khan told PTI.
“We have hosted Lithuania, Slovekia, Korea, Iran, Thailand. All these countries have come and there have been no issues.
“We won’t play on a neutral venue. If India does not want to come, we will not play this tie. We will play on grass courts and the Indians are a better team. And in February-March, the weather is lovely in Islamabad,” Saifullah said.
ITF held the draw for World Group I and II Play-offs after which 48 nations will compete in 24 ties around the world on either February 2-3 or 3-4 next year.
Winning nations from the World Group I Play-Offs will then take on 12 losing teams from the 2024 Qualifiers later in the World Group I ties in September. The draw for the Qualifiers, also to be played in February, will be held at the Davis Cup Final 8 Stage in November this year in Malaga.
Losing nations from World Group I Play-Offs will be up against winners of World Group II Play-Offs in World Group II ties in September while defeated nations from World Group II Play-Offs will have to compete in Regional Group III ties.
(With inputs from PTI)
World Group I Play-Offs (Host name first)
World Group II Play-Offs (Host name first)
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