ISLAMABAD-Veteran Shahzad Khan and Heera Ashiq have made it to the Pakistan Davis Cup squad, which will face Uzbekistan in April.

Pakistan Tennis Federation conducted trials to select two players for the vacant places. Shahzad Khan and Heera Ashiq made it to the team defeating M Abid Mushtaq by the slimmest margin, eventually on a head-to-head win count, as all three were holding the same number of victories. In the last match, Shahzad Khan beat Heera Ashiq 6-1, 6-2. Earlier, Heera had beaten M Abid 7-6, 6-3 and M Abid had won against Shahzad Khan 6-7, 7-5, 6-3. Both will join Aisam ul Haq Qureshi, Aqeel Khan and Muzammil Murtaza to complete the Pakistan team line up.

Selection trials were held on the grass courts of the Aisam ul Haq Tennis Complex in the Sports Complex, Islamabad from the 17th till the 19th. Salim Saifullah Khan, was keen to have the three top juniors also play the trials for exposure and experience gained from playing with top players but the plan couldn’t materialize as he top junior player, Shoaib Khan, was playing the JDC event in Colombo and has to sit for his exams on return, the Inter-Provincial Games being held in Peshawar, the two other juniors were participating and due to the access restrictions at the Sports Complex courts on account of the 23rd March Parade rehearsals, it was decided to call them when trials held in future.

With Aqeel Khan and Muzammil already in Islamabad, all players will be travelling to Lahore to play in the Sheheryar Malik National Grass Courts Championship, from the 25th to the 31st March, being organized by the PLTA.

The Davis Cup team players will also be holding practice and training sessions during the course of the tournament, they will again get another 4 days to train on grass before the Davis Cup tie on 6 and 7 April.  The tournament in Lahore will allow the players continuity of playing on grass which should be of considerable benefit for all. Aisam ul Haq is expected to join the team in last week of March or early April.