Pakistan start their 2015 Davis Cup season with a tie against Kuwait to be played in Colombo Sri Lanka The contest was shifted there because of the uncertain security situation in Pakistan following the Sri Lanka cricket team attack in Lahore.

A new look Pakistan team arrived in Colombo on the 28th and have been practicing extensively. Kuwait arrived on the 24th.

According to reports emanating from Colombo the matches are being played on courts that are faster than normal clay and a bit slippery which should be good for attacking players for attacking players like our Aisam and Aqeel as compared to the Kuwaitis who would be uncomfortable sliding on the slippery surface. They are more used to hard courts which give a firm foothold.

The Pakistan Captain is going in with an attacking mindset by playing his two most experienced players on the first day. Kuwait is playing without their second best player, Abdullah Maqdas, which hurts them because he is a high level player. Aqeel will play Mohammed Al Ghareeb on the first day which will be a battle between two very successful and experienced Davis Cup players. Aisam will play first match as our number one against Naser Al Obaidly. Aisam is a much stronger player and should take care of business comfortably.

In doubles Pakistan are the clear favorites where Aqeel and Aisam should have things going their own way against the inexperienced Kuwaitis. The Pakistani duo have been very successful in Davis Cup and should give us the all important doubles point on the second day.

The key contest on the first day will be the Aqeel Ghareeb encounter. Ghareeb is a solid player with years of experience. Aqeel is not at his very best because of a shoulder muscle tear that has been bothering him for some time now. But Aqeel invariably brings out his best in Davis Cup and should fancy his chances.

Pakistan tennis has been moving forward at breakneck pace ever since Saleem Saifullah Khan took charge as President of PTF. Mr. Khan has embarked on a strong fund raising campaign with some significant successes. As a result we have five teams going overseas this month, with Davis Cup , Junior Davis Cup , Fed Cup, Junior Fed Cup teams all competing in their respective brackets.

There are, however, a few question marks regarding technical decisions that may have been made in haste. The present tie against Kuwait is rumoured to be costing over $45,000. That is a huge price to pay for choice of a favourable court surface against a country Pakistan should beat anywhere. Had Pakistan played in Kuwait, the result would not have been much different since Aisam and Aqeel have been playing and training on hard courts since the start of the year. They are good hard court players as are the two youngsters on the team.

Playing in Kuwait would have saved approximately $38,000, money that could have funded the PTF development program for a year. Then, to send the controversial Arif Qureshi with the team, the man who was a central figure in the two biggest disasters in the history of Pakistan tennis, the deaths by asphyxiation of three of our best, most talented youngsters in Wah fifteen years ago and the default in the Davis Cup tie in Myanmar last year.

The PTF should not reward incompetence and malafide victimizing behavior in this manner. There are many more competent and sincere people in Pakistan tennis who will not victimize young players and ruin their careers. Mr. Khan would be well advised to keep this in mind in his quest to put Pakistan on the world tennis map.

Our recent experiences have told us that those who have not played tennis at a reasonable level have little love for the sport and merely use it further their own agendas. Mr. Khan is a former tennis player and has a passion for the sport that has not been in evidence in the recent past. Unfortunately he cannot do everything on his own and needs a team of dedicated workers. That will be the make or break point. We wish Saleem Saifullah Khan the best of luck.