ISLAMABAD - Pakistan’s one of the most decorated Davis Cuppers Hameed-ul-Haq was honoured with another award in recognition of his matchless services for tennis and the country.

Hameed will receive ‘Davis Cup Commitment Award’ on February 3 during Pakistan-Iran Davis Cup Asia-Oceania Group-II tie in Islamabad. The prestigious award is given by the ITF to the players, who have shown long-standing dedication to representing their country in this prestigious competition, the criteria of nominated for the above award is each recipient had competed in a minimum of 20 home or away ties or 50 ties at any level of the competition including zone group events during their career.

Talking to The Nation just before departing for Hong Kong, where he would play in +55 international matches, Hameed said after returning from Hong Kong, he would play in Thailand and other countries as well. “Indeed, it’s a great honour for me and my beloved country. The award was conceived as part of the ITF’s 2013 centenary celebrations and was launched at the 100th Davis Cup final in 2012. A total of 339 players had met the criteria, with awards presented at ties throughout the year. All the recipients are recognised on an honours board at the ITF headquarters and in a dedicated section on the official Davis Cup website too,” he said.

Hameed said after receiving ‘Pride of Performance’ in 2,000, it was another milestone in his career expanding to almost 4 decades. “I, along with my brothers, played Davis Cup for Pakistan for around 13 years (1984 to 1997). I had participated in three Asian Games in 1982, 1986 and 1990 and also took part in three SAF Games in 1991, 1993 and 1995 and won two silver and four bronze medals in three South Asian Games. I also led Pakistan to bounce back in Davis Cup Asia-Oceania Group-I as non-playing captain and had won 148 international and national titles, second to none in Pakistan.”

Hameed said he had always given his more than 100 percent to the country in whatever capacity he was assigned. “When things were really tough and ties were very competitive, the Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) wanted my services as non-playing and playing captain and I never turned my back and always worked wonders for the country. Now, I am working with future of Pakistan, Muzammil Murtaza, who is a brilliant lad and still very young, has been creating waves in tennis circles. He has not only performed exceptionally in the ITF, Junior Davis Cup and even ATT circuit, but also won titles. The PTF must invest heavily on Muzmmil, who is a real future star and can help the country win laurels for it.”

“I have submitted a comprehensive plan to the PTF and I am sure, if the federation takes my suggestions seriously, Pakistan tennis can have a bright future. We need to produce replacement for Aqeel and Aisam, for which there is a dire need of grooming the players like Muzammil by heavily investing on them, providing them with best facilities and sending them abroad for having maximum international exposure, as these are the things which can make Pakistan tennis future bright,” he added.

“We have to dig deep and groom fresh talent, as no matter we might have to face few losses and bad results to start with, but it will help us in years to come. I will play in international matches in 55 plus age category and try to stay fit. Whenever the PTF requires my services, I will certainly help my country, which gave me name and fame and I will pay back in the best possible fashion,” Hameed concluded.