KARACHI President of the Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) Senator Dilawar Abbas has said that his Federation is willing to send Pakistan team to Federation Cup tennis which is womens equivalent of Davis Cup provided there was someone to sponsor the team. Mrs. Shahida Farooq, the chairperson of Subh-e-Nau, an NGO which looking after the environment and works for promotion of tennis here Tuesday, informed the local media that the PTF chief called her on Tuesday to congratulate her for successfully holding the HBL Subh-e-Nau womens national tennis in Karachi and offering biggest ever prize money to the participants. She said the PTF chief lauded the efforts of SN in promoting tennis in general and womens tennis in particular. Mr. Abbas was all praise for the organisers of the championships and said those who attended the competition had informed him how nicely the event was conducted. The SN held the five day Rs. 200,000 prize carrying championships here recently at Modern Club. The money offered was the biggest ever for a womens competition. The winner of the championship Sarah Mahboob won Rs. 70,000 while Saba Aziz who came second won Rs. 40,000. Shahida said she also informed the PTF chief about the high standard of tennis witnessed during the championships and requested him that Pakistan had talented girls and they should be sent to play in Federation Cup. Abbas was pleased to know that Pakistani girls had achieved some level and said the PTF would certainly send the womens team to Federation Cup. Pakistans leading women players Sarah Mahboob, Sara Mansoor, Saba Aziz and Mehek Khokhar all specially came here from Islamabad and Lahore to appear in the championships. About four to five players from Karachi including Maheen Dada also participated in the contest. The Pakistan Tennis Federation had submitted regularly entry of national womens team in the Federation Cup in mid nineties until 2000 when suddenly for some unknown reason, the PTF stopped sending team to the international competition which is womens equivalent to mens Davis Cup. No specific reason was given for discontinuing sending teams to the championship but is gathered from different sources that some time it was due to lack of funds and some times due to poor standard of women tennis in the country. Some experienced tennis players had always supported the idea of sending team in Federation Cup irrespective of the standard of Pakistani players because they are of the opinion that unless the Pakistani girls go out and play at international level they would not be able to learn and raise their level of tennis. As far as resources of sending the team was concerned, it was felt that the PTF had the mandate of promoting the sports at home and it should raise money to enter the team. Some senior players had said that the International Tennis Federation meets all the travel and boarding and lodging expenses for each participating team and funds was no worry of the national federation. What they had to do is to raise a good team. But some organizers had rejected the perception that the ITF pays the bill for each participating teams in Federation Cup. They said the ITF only finance teams in Davis Cup. The ITF pays around USD 20,000 to the PTF to make entry in Davis Cup. The ITF funds are so handy that it take care of the annual budget of the PTF which gets an annual grants in aid of Rs. 0.8 million from the government which is not sufficient to run the sport in the country. In the meantime the PTF has selected Aisamul Haq, Aqeel Khan, Jalil Khan and Yasir Khan to attend a preparatory camp at Lahore for the coming Davis Cup tie against Hong Kong some time coming month. The Davis Cup tie was originally to be held in Pakistan but due to security reasons the venue was shifted to the visiting country Hong Kong.