AITA executive committee members shocked by removal of Vishal Uppal from captaincy

The removal of Vishal Uppal from the captaincy of the Indian team in the Billie Jean King Cup has left the All India Tennis Association (AITA) working committee members in a tizzy as they were not consulted on such a crucial decision. AITA on Monday announced that Shalini Thakur Chawla would replace Uppal as the captain. AITA general secretary Anil Dhupar said he spoke to Suman Kapoor, secretary of the Haryana Tennis Association, but Kapoor said he was only informed about the decision when it should have been discussed in the working committee meeting.

Uppal was also not told about this decision in advance. He said that he was not informed about this before the decision was taken. Kapoor has also written to AITA vice-president (sports) Hiranyamoy Chatterjee, seeking an emergency meeting of the working committee. Kapoor said, “I was not consulted on this. How is Anil Dhupar telling me about the removal of Vishal? This should have been discussed in the working committee meeting.” Uppal runs his academy in Gurugram, which falls in Haryana.

Another member of the working committee said that Dhupar was taking unilateral decisions. He said, “Don’t know why he is doing this. This is an important issue and how was the decision taken without discussing it. What a rush it was.” Kapoor said, “India has done exceptionally well in the last few years under Vishal’s captaincy. Because of that, we are placed in Group 1 of the BJK Cup. Under his captaincy, India reached the World Group qualifying for the first time. I am told that the Indian players also want Vishal’s presence as captain. In the past also, the appointment of captains for Davis Cup and Fed Cup has been done only after discussions in the AITA Working Committee.

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