AITA felicitates legends, but most miss the ceremony
New Delhi: It was a ceremony meant to honour their commitment to India`s Davis Cup campaign over the years but just two of the eight chosen were present when the All India Tennis Association felicitated them in a brief ceremony here today.
Jaideep Mukherjee and Leander Paes were the only ones present at the RK Khanna Tennis Stadium as AITA`s chief guest Shatrughan Sinha gave away the `inaugural Davis Cup Commitment Trophy` amid roaring applause from the crowd.
The others who were chosen for the honour were Anand and Vijay Amritraj, Ramesh and Ramanthan Krishnan, the late Premjit Lal and the disgruntled Mahesh Bhupathi.
While Bhupathi giving the ceremony a miss was understandable given his bitter relationship with the AITA, others, barring Lal, had already conveyed their inability to be there much in advance.
For the record, Mukherjee, who made his Davis Cup debut in 1960 against Thailand, enjoyed a win-loss ratio of 62-35 in the Davis Cup.
Paes, on the other hand, is involved in his 49th Davis Cup tie -- the ongoing one against South Korea.
This award was conceived as part of the ITF`s 2013 Centenary celebrations for players who have shown long-standing dedication towards representing their country in this competition.
To be eligible for it, a player should have competed in a minimum of 20-home-and-away ties or 50 ties at any level of the competition (including Zone Group events) over their career.
A total of 299 players qualified to receive the award, of whom 252 are still alive.