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Two Days Before Asian Games, Leander Paes Pulls Out

Veteran Leander Paes has pulled out of the 18th Asian Games that begins in Jakarta-Palenbang in two days from now. "It is with a heavy heart that I have to say that I will not be playing the upcoming Asian Games in Indonesia," Paes said in a statement.

News18 Sports

Updated:August 16, 2018, 11:27 PM IST
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Two Days Before Asian Games, Leander Paes Pulls Out
Leander Paes. (Image Credit: Getty Images)
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Veteran Leander Paes has pulled out of the 18th Asian Games that begins in Jakarta-Palenbang in two days from now. "It is with a heavy heart that I have to say that I will not be playing the upcoming Asian Games in Indonesia," Paes said in a statement.

"Despite my repeated requests, from so many weeks in advance, it is sad that we have not been able to put a doubles specialist in the team for credible second doubles pairing for the Asian Games."

The Indian team reached the venue on Thursday but captain and coach Zeeshan Ali was clueless about Paes’ arrival all day. “I have no idea of his arrival. Only Paes can tell you when he is coming. The last time I spoke to him he said he would play in Cincinnati and then come to Palembang. But he is not playing there also,” Ali said earlier in the day.

There was uncertainty over who Paes would play with in the doubles event. While initially Sumit Nagal’s name was doing the rounds, later on it was reported that the 18-time Grand Slam champion could even play with Ramkumar Ramanathan with whom he had played one event together.

Now, Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan form the only men's doubles pairing for India.

Meanwhile, Paes' decision to not participate at the games has left the AITA miffed. According to an AITA official, had Paes informed the association about his decision to pull out earlier, a youngster could have taken his place. "Now accreditations are closed, and we can't send in another entry. But this last minute pull out means another younger player who could have been a part of the squad will have to miss out," the official said.

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| Edited by: Madhav Agarwal
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