'Rebel' players in Davis Cup tie against Japan under Leander

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Bangalore, Mar 9 (UNI) Putting a 'temporary' end to the imbroglio, the three Indian Davis cuppers 'Mahesh Bhupathy, Rohan Bopanna and Prakash Amritraj' have decided to play the India's Davis Cup tie against Japan, under the captaincy of Leander Paes, beginning in Delhi from April 11.

Issuing a statement through former Davis Cupper Vijay Amritraj, with whom they held talks over the last three weeks, the three players said, ''Playing for the country is a great honour. Having grown up with this stream nothing pained us more than writing the letter to AITA. It was done after a lot of thought and with a heavy heart.'' However, they stressed that the letter given to AITA against Leander's 'attitude' still stands and they had decided to play against Japan in the country's interest.

The three players had rebelled against Indian captain Leander Paes saying that they will not play under him anymore. They were protesting against Leander's 'autocratic' attitude and him coming out in open with the media on the performance of the team members.

The players said over the last one month, especially after the AITA meeting in Delhi and following their decision they had held long conservations with Vijay. ''He is India's most respected sports ambassador, who served the country with distinction for over two decades. Our only goal is to play for the nation and all the issues are very much on the table. We look forward to play Japan at home,'' they said.

Vijay said the trio told him that they always felt better playing together. ''Davis Cup gives players incredible goose bumps of the country being on your back. For some reasons, they feel that they had been sidetracked. But still they told me that playing Davis Cup for the country comes above all controversies or even personal interests.'' Vijay, who had held talks in this matter with AITA Secretary Anil Khanna, said the players would certainly face some 'irksome' moments when they play in the next Davis Cup tie.

''Leander is incredible, when it comes to Davis Cup. The three players told me that their present goal was to play against Japan and win matches for the country,'' he added.


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