ANISUDDIN KHAN

KARACHI - President of Pakistan Tennis Federation has announced win bonus for Pakistan team for winning the Asia Oceania Davis Cup group II home tie 3-2 against Lebanon couple of days ago.

Kaleem Imam who heads the PTF, told mediamen at a private dinner hosted in his honour by the secretary of Intentional Club of Pakistan Saeed Ahmed at his residence on Tuesday night that the PTF would give additional $1000 each to Aisam-ul-Haq and Aqeel Khan who played in the three day fixture.

When suggested that PTF should take lead in recommending to the Sindh and Federal governments to allot a residential plot to Aqeel Khan for his services to tennis, he said he would certainly look into the suggestion and discuss with his colleagues in the PTF to see how it could be done.

He was informed that cricketers, hockey and squash players who had played crucial winning role in the past for the country were awarded residential plots and agricultural lands and that Aqeel Khan deserve it because he had also played crucial role in Pakistan wins in the Davis Cup in the past. He said he had already decided to write letters to governments both at Islamabad and Sindh requesting properly awarding Aqeel. The PTF chief was informed that when Naseem Hamid won the 100 metres gold at Dhaka SAF Games she was showered with cash awards and also given a house as reward for her achievement. Aqeel won the second return singles against Lebanon that settled the contest in Pakistan’s favour. Aisam-ul-Haq had won opening singles and Aqeel lost. The duo won the doubles tie. And when Aisam lost to Lebanon No 1 in return singles and the score was tied two all, victory depended on the second return singles which Aqeel won. Aqeel who is playing for Pakistan for the last 10 years had played crucial winning role in the past as well. Kaleem said despite financial constraints the PTF would give the win bonus. The victorious team arrived here in the early hours of Wednesday morning from Lebanon. Pakistan is now scheduled to meet Philippines in the next round. If Pakistan wins that fixture, it would be promoted to Group I.

Kaleem said the PTF annually receives Rs1.8million which was not enough to run the Federation. Some funds were generated from other resources but still the PTF fall far short of the finances needed to meet all the requirements.

He said PTF finances got the boost from the ITF funds that are given during the Davis Cup ties. He said the PTF was mulling over commercialising some parts of the PTF complex at Islamabad to generate extra funds. The idea is still in the air and a final decision would be taken after discussion in the PTF and getting permission from the concerned authorities in Islamabad, he added.

Kaleem Imam showed keen interest in the promotion and elevation of standard amongst junior boys and girls and said allowing girls to play against boys at that level may achieve the desired results.