Davis Cup victory to earn handsome bonus for Aisam, Aqeel
KARACHI: The Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) has offered a handsome bonus to prolific duo of Aisam-ul-Haq and Aqeel Khan if they steer the country to triumph in the Davis Cup Asia Oceania Zone group two second round rubber against South Korea, being held at Gimcheon from July 8 to 10.
“Yes, we have offered lucrative winning bonus of US $6,000 apiece aimed to inculcate a new spirit amongst them,” President of the PTF, Kaleem Imam, told Dawn. Pakistan whipped Hong Kong 3-2 in the first round away tie in March.
Elaborating, he said that in the case of reversal, Aisam and Aqeel would pocket US $ 2,000 and 1,000 respectively as appearance money.
He disclosed that young Samir Iftikhar, who made his Davis Cup debut against Hong Kong, was undergoing training in the camp after arriving from England adding that he (Samir) has to prove his fitness to retain his place in the team.
“He (Samir) has not played the game for the last two weeks or so and has to show his mettle,” the PTF official pointed out.
The former Islamabad IG said three players — Samir, Yasir Khan and Jalil Khan — were in contention for the remaining two slots in the team besides Aisam and Aqeel. He said the team, comprising three players and a non-playing captain, would fly to Seoul on July 1, a week ahead of the contest to acclimatise while Aisam will join them after completing his engagements in Wimbledon.
He went on to say that Aqeel, Jalil, Yasir, Samir, M. Abid, Abid Ali and Faizan Khurram were undergoing strenuous training in the camp that has been set up on the PAF Complex synthetic courts.
Asked why the camp was not held at the PTF Complex he said it has one synthetic court whereas PAF is equipped with two.
The venue was preferred after one of PAF’s top official offered the facilities including boarding and lodging of players in a secured atmosphere, he added.
He said US-based coach Jalil Riaz, who has been invited by the PTF for perks of US$3,000 apart from local hospitality, is supervising the training. The fortnight camp for Davis Cup probables concludes on June 30. He would impart training to the second tier and ladies for two weeks from July 2 to 17, he added.
This is Riaz’s second coaching stint with the PTF.
When approached, Aqeel said he had learnt some tips from him when he (Aqeel) attended his first under-14 training camp.
Meanwhile, the PTF chief was elected chairman of the Asian Tennis Federation (ATF) constitution committee during its annual general body meeting held at Tashkent recently. The National Assembly Standing Committee on Sports has summoned the PTF officials in Islamabad on June 29, Dawn has learnt.