Pakistan will host its Asia Oceania Group I Davis Cup tie in Sri Lanka after opponent China refused to visit the country over security fears, officials said yesterday.
The Pakistan Tennis Federation said it had hoped that the country’s strong economic links with China would help convince officials to bring the competition to Lahore. “It’s disappointing to note that the International Tennis Federation has rejected our appeal of playing the tie in Pakistan and we are now forced to host it in Sri Lanka,” PTF secretary Khalid Rehmani said. The tie will be played from March 4-6. The PTF had invoked the foreign ministry’s aid in the bid to hold the match at home but to no avail, said Rehmani. Pakistan has not hosted a home tie since 2005. Pakistan is back in Group I for the tournament for the first time since 2006, while China clung onto its place with a relegation playoff victory over Thailand in September last year. The winner of the tie will face seeded Uzbekistan for a chance to reach the World Group playoffs.