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Lebanon agree to play Davis Cup tie in Pakistan
It will be the first Davis Cup tie in Pakistan since 2005.
Karachi: Lebanon have agreed to play their Davis Cup Asia-Oceania Group 2 tie in Pakistan, giving sport in the strife-torn country a massive boost when most countries have backed away raising security concerns.
The two teams will play in February. It will be the first Davis Cup tie in Pakistan since 2005 when Lahore hosted Thailand and Chinese Taipei back-to-back, reports Pakistan Tribune.
In the last six years, the Davis Cup nations have refused to play in Pakistan, citing security concerns, and as a result Pakistan lost the right to host Oman, the Philippines, New Zealand and Hong Kong, and with it the home advantage.
The Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) on Friday termed the development a huge breakthrough for the revival of international tennis in the country.
"It's a huge boost for the game as well as for the country's sports," said PTF Vice-President Irshad Bhatti.
"The tie will in all likelihood be played on grass in Lahore. The other venue could be Islamabad."
Bhatti said the PTF has also bid to host the Fed Cup (Asia leg) next year, with 19 countries competing.
"We have sought the rights to host the Fed Cup in October 2012 and the sponsors are ready, waiting for the ITF's green signal."
Meanwhile, Pakistan's top-ranked tennis player Aqeel Khan has welcomed the development, saying that Pakistan have suffered immensely due to the shifting of their home ties.
"It's a huge breakthrough for us," said Khan, who has been representing Pakistan in Davis Cup for over a decade. "I hope the security situation remains under control and the tie is held here."
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