ISLAMABAD  - The cat finally comes out of the bag as Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) secretary Mumtaz Yousaf, managed to include the name of his real nephew Usman Ejaz in the 5-member Pakistan Davis Cup team, setting aside all rules and regulations in the process.

First of all never in the history of Pakistan tennis 5-mmeber team was selected. Secondly despite being the member of the Davis Cup trials committee headed by PTF Patron Senator Dilawar Abbas, Mumtaz never bothered to turn up to witness the trials. The most interesting thing to note in the press release issued by the PTF secretary was the name of Khawaja Saeed Hai, who according to Mumtaz was chairman of selection committee. But Mumtaz simply forgot the fact that Hai never conducted trials as he was not even in the country during the trials as he was in Dubai.

PTF president Dr Syed Kaleem Imam had requested Senator Dilawar to conduct trials as per schedule. On the special request of the PTF president Senator Dilawar conducted trials with the help of a committee, which include the names of former Davis Cupper Musaf Zia, M Khalil, Arif Qureshi, Nadir Mumtaz and Mumtaz Yousaf.

When this correspondent contacted the PTF president and asked him if rules have been changed to accommodate Usman, who finished third in the trial matches, Kaleem replied: “As per set rules 4-memebr team would represent Pakistan in the Davis Cup Asia Oceania tie against Vietnam. There is no change in rules and we would not made any changes in the set patron just to accommodate someone. Aisam and Aqeel were given exemption from trials, while Yasir and M Abid got selected by remaining unbeaten in trial matches. The Davis Cup team consists Aisam, Aqeel, Yasir and Abid and there is no confusion what so ever.”

“I had appointed Khawaja Saeed Hai to conduct trials, but he left for Dubai sighting personal commitments. Then I requested PTF Patron Senator Dilawar Abbas to conduct trials. He was very kind and conducted the entire process transparently. If someone doesn't even have the time to attend trials, how and why he issued such an irresponsible press release. I would look into this matter upon my return,” Kaleem concluded.

Meanwhile when this correspondent contacted Senator Dilawar to seek his point of view, he said no one could issue any statement regarding representation of players in the Davis Cup tie against Vietnam. “I was the committee head and conducted trials. It was decided in principle that the team would be announced by PTF president himself upon his arrival from Sudan and until then no one would issue any statement or leak story to media.”

Senator Dilawar said a person who didn't bothered to be involved in the trials process, neither he had anything to do with the selection process, as he had stayed away from the trials process, how and why he issued such statement?

“There were absolutely bad intentions involved in issuing the names to media. This gentleman, in the past too, tried to create unwanted and uncalled for hurdles and tried to sabotage the trial process just to gain personal favours. Four-member team is already in place and there is no need to take fifth player, who is not more than a liability for the team and it would send a very bad message to others. It could set a precedent to whom others would follow and genuine and deserving players would be left high and dry. I would take up this issue with president Syed Kaleem Imam and ask him to take stern action against the violator. In case of somebody from the four-member team drops out or get injured then there is a chance for the fifth player, who along with few other players could be kept in the camp as reserves but not as a regular team member,” Dilawar concluded.

Meanwhile sharing his views, former Davis Cupper Musaf Zia, who was also the member of the trails committee, said: “We had decided that two players would be selected from the eight to represent Pakistan alongside Aisam and Aqeel while two players would remain in the camp as reserves. Being a Davis Cupper myself, there is no such example in my memory that 5-member team represented country in such a prestigious event. The matter of the fact is M Abid must consider him very lucky, as he just managed to get place in the team as Ahmed Chaudhry got injured. Otherwise even Abid was not in the side and thinking about Usman Ejaz is a far cry,” Musaf concluded.