ISLAMABAD - New Zealand completed 5-0 rout of Pakistan in the Davis Cup Asia-Oceania Group-I after Abid Ali Akbar and Samir Iftikhar were beaten in the reverse singles matches on the last day of the three-day tie played in Christchurch on Sunday.

It was Pakistan’s worst-ever performance in the highly prestigious event as Pakistani players just managed to win just 20 games and lost 78 games. The result was very much expected as Pakistan Tennis Federation instead of working on players training and establishing training camp, never bothered to pay heed on highly important area and it was for the very first time that not a single day’s training camp was established. Aqeel did train alone at Islamabad for a week but both Abid Ali Akbar and Samir Iftihar landed in New Zealand straight from the USA. If the PTF wanted such pathetic results they could have get that results from even unknown local players without much financial burden as the paid hefty amounts for the appearance of Abid and Samir ignoring the local talent. It is national and moral duty of Inter Provicnal Coordination Minister Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada to conduct an impartial inquiry that on what grounds national blazer was put on sale and on what performances and past track record Canadian national of Pakistani origin Asad Ali was drafted into the national team when he did not even have a valid Pakistani passport. It was a huge injustice to players like M Abid, Heera Ashiq, Yasir Khan, Ahmed Chaudhry, and Shahzad Khan. At one end federation is passing on countless benefits to influential ones, who had strong background, while on the other hand the future of Pakistan tennis young Muzammil Murtaza, who had just returned after playing in the ITF Junior finals, was not even given breakfast and taking care or supporting him is a far cry. The federation just makes tall claims but in reality they are doing nothing for the players or the game. After two worst ever years in the office, eithther the PTF president Salim Saifullah should tender resignation in the best interest of Pakistan tennis or else government must take notice of the ground reality and appoint an ad-hoc on the PTF.

Now after demoting back to Asia-Oceania Group-II, things would not be easy for Pakistan. Draws for next Davis Cup tie would be held to decide who would play against whom and among eight participating nations, Pakistan is the second weakest team. If draws are not favourable, there is every possibility the downslide would further continue unabated and the federation’s present management doesn’t have the wisdom and also lacks direction to take Pakistan tennis forward, any further delays could costs Pakistan tennis dearly and it would take decades to recover from the aftershocks.

Abid started the first reverse singles against Tearney Finn and as per Davis Cup rules after losing the tie, reverse singles are played on the best of three sets and the not best of five, which handed over advantage to Abid. But Abid started the first set on the worst possible note and was beaten all hands up by Tearney, who just dropped one game and took the set 6-1 . Abid did play quite well in the second set lost it also 6-3.

In the last match of the tie, Samir was pitted against Rubin Statham. Surprisingly it was Samir who was dictating terms as he showed some talent and played some delightful tennis. Rubin was committing unforced errors and was looking shell shocked. Samir should have finished him off but he committed blunders when at crucial moments and let Rubin off the hook and lost first set 6-4.

In the second set, Rubin was in cruise control, while Samir was looking a meagre spectator as Rubin just toyed with Samir and took the set 6-1.

It is time the PTF must conduct an inquiry that on what grounds parents of certain players are getting huge money from different quarters in the name of tennis and what they are giving to the country in return.  The deserving players and future of Pakistan tennis like Muzammil, Mudassar and others are running from post to pillar to get meal and ordinary things though they are while bringing laurels for the country.