Sumit Nagal, the promising 19-year-old tennis player from India has been dropped from the upcoming Davis Cup for 'breach of discipline'. Nagal, who made an impressive debut in Davis Cup last year in September had allegedly skipped a practice session in a tie against South Korea in Chandigarh in July because he was hungover.
“We got to know that he finished the mini-bar in his hotel room the previous night. He’s a talented player but when you are only 19 years old and you are getting a chance to be in the Indian team, this is not acceptable,” an All India Tennis Association (AITA) source told Tribune.
Nagal has also been accused of bringing his girlfriend during the Spain tie without taking the requisite permission from the authorities.
But Hironmoy Chatterjee, General Secretary, AITA denied taking any disciplinary action against him.
‘I can tell you that no disciplinary action has been taken against any player. And it’s not as if Sumit automatically qualifies for the Davis Cup. So if he is dropped, he is dropped,” he told New Indian Express.
His removal has angered Indian tennis star Somdev Devvarman who has written an open letter to AITA in order to 'expose the incompetent tennis running body'. Devvarman accused the association of bringing a bad name to the young Nagal by hurting his reputation.
"Now if you truly have a problem with a 19-year-old, any sensible mature adult would sit him down in a room with some senior players, the captain and if need be the federation representative and explain to him what is acceptable and what is not. Doing so over a newspaper that’s broadcasted throughout the country is hardly a way to teach a young player a lesson. Do you agree with me there? If yes, I once again ask you, what is the real point of your article by the PTI that brings in a negative press to Sumit," reads the letter, as per a report by the Indian Express.
In his letter, he also bashed the association for not taking care of its sportspersons when they are down with injuries. He also slammed the selection committee for not including Rohan Bopanna (the highest ranked player) in the upcoming series.
On January 1, Devvarman announced his retirement from professional tennis, bringing an abrupt end to what was once a promising career. Known for his baseline slugfest and sheer doggedness with which he played his game, Somdev gave India many memorable wins in the Davis Cup.
"Playing for me was always super fun and passion, that was dying or slowing down," reason for his retirement which he had then said.
In an interview to PTI after his retirement, he had said that AITA isn't doing enough for the game.
"They (AITA) have done bare minimum. They just justify what they have done rather than take big steps. Don't compare what other sports are doing, compare with what your sport is doing internationally. Who they hire to run programs," he said.
(With inputs from PTI, Reuters)