first_img Next Indo-Asian News Service KolkataFebruary 7, 2019UPDATED: February 7, 2019 19:05 IST India were beaten 3-1 by Italy in last week’s World Group Qualifier (Reuters Photo)HIGHLIGHTSIndia’s Davis Cup match against Pakistan which will be held in September this yearNo Indian Davis Cup squad has travelled to Pakistan since March 1964Indian government has put a blanket ban on sports teams travelling to PakistanA day after the Indian Davis Cup team were drawn to play Pakistan in an away tie, the All India Tennis Association (AITA) expressed confidence that it will be able to send the contingent to the neighbouring country despite the Indian government’s policy of not allowing sports teams to travel there. The tie is scheduled for September.”I am confident we will be cleared to go to Pakistan. We have been drawn to play them in their den. If we can’t go, we will be banned for two years,” AITA secretary general Hironmoy Chatterjee told IANS over phone.The winner will move to the World Group Qualifiers.Chatterjee’s confidence stems from the fact that Pakistan were allowed to take part in the Hockey World Cup here recently. “Pakistan were in Bhubaneswar (Hockey World Cup) and likewise we will travel to their country,” he said.When pointed out that the government has not allowed the Indian cricket team to travel to Pakistan for any bilateral series, Chatterjee said: “Cricket is not an Olympic sport. Tennis is an Olympic sport and this is the World Cup of tennis. The ITF (International Tennis Federation) decides the venue and we have been drawn to play in Pakistan, and we will go.”No Indian Davis Cup squad has travelled to Pakistan since March 1964. In that tie in Lahore, India had prevailed over their rivals 4-0.”It will be difficult for us then (if India is banned) to get back to the World Group. We share a good relation with the Pakistan Tennis Federation and have no problems in travelling,” he said, rubbishing reports that the tie might be held on a neutral venue.advertisementThe draw for the tie took place in London.In the last week’s World Group Qualifier, India were beaten 3-1 by Italy at the Calcutta South Club here.Chatterjee further said Pakistan will decide the venue and the surface by June 25 and send the nomination to India, after which the AITA will arrange for visas for players and coaching staff.This is an away tie for India since the last time the two nations had met in Mumbai. India had then won the tie 3-2. Before that, India and Pakistan played at a neutral venue in Malaysia in 1973.Current non-playing captain Mahesh Bhupathi was part of the team, which also had Leander Paes, Prakash Amritraj and Rohan Bopanna who is still part of India’s plans. Bopana with doubles partner Divij Sharan won the only rubber against Italy.”It’s a good draw for us. We would like to believe we are the stronger side. Prajnesh is doing well in the ATP challengers and Yuki (Bhambri) is recovering from injury. Ramkumar Ramanathan is expected to continue his surge. We will have three players inside top 150, which has not happened in the Indian tennis for a long time,” India coach Zeeshan Ali told IANS.Ali did not comment on the team’s Pakistan travel plan, saying they have no problem in playing anywhere and on any surface as long as they get the green signal.For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byrohan sen Tags :Follow Indian tennis teamFollow Davis CupFollow India vs PakistanFollow Indian Davis Cup team AITA confident Indian team will be cleared to visit Pakistan for Davis Cup tieNo Indian Davis Cup squad has travelled to Pakistan since March 1964. In that tie in Lahore, India had prevailed over their rivals 4-0.advertisementlast_img read more

In May, the situation was exacerbated by the worst torrential rains in 14 years, which triggered floods and landslides in the country’s southwest, killing some 200 people and forcing many from their homes.But in drought-affected areas in the north, rains were not sufficient to replenish reservoirs, and the second 2017 rice paddy harvest is expected to be at least 24 percent lower than last year’s, said FAO official Cristina Coslet. Sri Lanka was hit by the worst drought in four decades last year, with poor rains continuing into 2017, causing many farmers to lose their crops and income, the agencies said. “The level of water in irrigation reservoirs is still well below the average,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone.Some 225,000 households – or 900,000 people – face food insecurity, and have been forced to eat less and lower quality food, the report said.Unable to grow their own crops, many families have to buy food at local markets where prices have spiked due to the crisis, it said. A severe drought followed by floods has slashed agricultural production in Sri Lanka, leaving some 900,000 people facing food insecurity, the United Nations said, warning that without help the situation might further deteriorate.Production of rice, the country’s staple food, is forecast to drop almost 40 percent to 2.7 million tonnes in 2017, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Food Programme (WFP) said in a report on Thursday, according to Reuters. FAO and WFP said seeds, equipment, irrigation support, and cash assistance are urgently needed to help farmers in the next planting season starting in September, and to prevent conditions from deteriorating. Other crops including pulses, chillies and onion are also expected to take a blow, it said. “If (the planting season) fails the situation will worsen a lot for the families affected,” Coslet said. (Colombo Gazette) read more