ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) President Salim Saifullah Khan has announced that fresh elections of the federation will be held on the November 24.

Addressing the press conference here Wednesday, Saifullah, who is seeking second term to continue his great work, said: “According to Sports Policy, I have right to contest for the second term in running. I have worked tirelessly for the last four years and kept Pakistan in Davis Cup Group-I for two years, conducted Davis Cup matches in Pakistan, started ITF Futures after a long gap and installed world’s best synthetic courts at Senator Dilawar Abbas PTF Complex.”

“I managed to take $80,000 in just one-year from International Tennis Federation (ITF), out of which $50,000 were spent on installing five latest synthetic courts, while $30,000 were spent on conducting ITF tournaments. We have also received Rs 5 million from government. I took the decision to start work on synthetic courts and for this, I went to USA to get further 10 percent discount from the company, which is laying down the synthetic courts.

“These surfaces are highly advanced and much better than the surfaces used in US Open and Australian Open and got in the cheaper rates from the best company. Now we have almost spent Rs 20 million and we are looking for additional Rs 7 million from sponsors and other resources.”

He said he would also write to the ITF for allocating further $50,000, so that the federation may clear the dues of synthetic courts. “Only in Bangladesh, the government has allocated a whopping $2million for tennis promotion, while small countries are also spending heavily on this game. It is only in Pakistan, where tennis gets Rs 3.5 million annual grant, which is like nuts.

“Now Imran Khan is Prime Minister of Pakistan, he is a sportsman and he knows inside outs and how much money is required for promotion of sports, I hope that he will keeping in mind the efforts and hard work of not only PTF, but other federations as well.”

He said that we were expecting around 50 international players from China, Malaysia, Turkey and other parts of the world for the Junior ITF, but due to sit-ins by the religious outfits, the number reduced to 25. “Even then, they all are happy and feeling excited. Now only coaching can’t help players so we have decided to invite Turkish top trainer for our junior and senior players, who is expected to reach Pakistan next month.

“Our main focus is now on holding junior events, which will help the federation find fresh talent and it is also very cheap to hold a junior ITF, for which we need only Rs 450,000 to conduct. Next month, we will be holding three senior ITF, which will cost around Rs 3.5 million,” he added.

He said they have offered schools around different locations of capital to send students, who will be provided pick and drop and free coaching, training and equipments like rackets, balls and other stuff. “The PTF courts are available free of cost and anyone can come and enjoy playing. I would also request PM Task Force Chairman Ehsan Mani o have meeting with PTF before finalising recommendations. We are the most active federation and our input will help him a great deal.”

He recommended the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) to establish a sports university in the PSB premises soon, which would help the generations. “ “Sports is an industry world-wide and now the nations give top most priority to sports. I am not satisfied with Junior Tennis Initiative (JTI) Programme and thinking about bringing drastic changes, as we need fresh blood baldy.”

“This year again, two of our junior players got US scholarships just because of tennis. If given second chance as president, I will rectify minor flaws and take an active secretary to run the PTF in professional manner and I promise to take Pakistan tennis to new heights,” Saifullah concluded.