AITA adamant, says will send Lee-Hesh to Olympics
Bangalore: Sticking to its stand, the All India Tennis Association on Saturday said it will not change the players` combination for the London Olympics despite Mahesh Bhupathi categorically rejecting his pairing with Leander Paes.
Speaking to reporters after being elected unopposed as AITA President, Anil Khanna made a strong defence of the selection committee`s decision on picking the duo.
Urging Bhupathi to be a "little more mature", Khanna asked him to put the national interest first.
"Both (Bhupathi and Bopanna) have to realise that the nation comes much before commitment to each other," he said.
Khanna said if Bhupathi expects AITA to buckle under pressure and not pair him with Paes, "it will not happen".
Bhupathi and Bopanna, in a joint statement yesterday, said they have repeatedly and consistently communicated to the AITA their desire to only be considered for selection as a team and not as individuals to BE paired with any other player.
The two players had also said they would continue to pursue their case so that they be selected as a team before the final entry is sent to ITF.
Khanna stressed that THE Paes-Bhupathi pair is the best team for the Olympics.
"It will have to be Leander and Mahesh," he said.
Arguing that the Paes-Bhupathi pair is the best bet for India, Khanna said a medal-winning team is possible only with Paes.
"Olympics is a different ball game and tougher than a Grand Slam and wealth of experience that the duo has would keep them in good stead in crunch and pressure situation. We have to send medal winning team," Khanna said, and expressed hope that Bhupathi would agree to team up with Paes.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- What Muslims think about Ram Mandir issue?
- Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad barred from flying after his assault on AI staffer
- Martyrs' Day: Nation remembers Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru for their sacrifice
- London terrorist attack leaves five dead, including police officer
- Do not put unnecessary pressure on police: PM Modi tells UP BJP MPs
- Hukumdev Narain Yadav to be new Vice-President of India?
- 400 Trinamool Congress members including many TMC stalwarts join BJP in Tripura
- Unable to meet educational expenses, Muslim girl writes to PM Narendra Modi – Know what happened next
- Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Rajguru were hanged on 23 March 1931 – This is how PM Modi paid tribute today
- Mulayam Singh Yadav's son Prateek, his daughter-in-law Aparna meet UP CM Yogi Adityanath - Know why