Indian ace floored by new rule

HE PROFESSES a deep love for India and has been a member of the Indian Davis Cup squad for the past four years, but the athletic Prakash Amritraj is a definite non-starter for the crucial World Group playoff against South Africa at the Ellis Park Arena in Johannesburg from September 18 to 20.

HE PROFESSES a deep love for India and has been a member of the Indian Davis Cup squad for the past four years, but the athletic Prakash Amritraj is a definite non-starter for the crucial World Group playoff against South Africa at the Ellis Park Arena in Johannesburg from September 18 to 20.

The anomaly of Amritraj's ineligibility was confirmed yesterday by Phillip Frank Montes, the tournament director of the All-India Tennis Association, in an interview from New Delhi.

The Indian Tennis Association had made concerted efforts to find a loophole to the county's new government directive stipulating that anyone representing India at sporting level must be in possession of an Indian passport - but had hit a brick wall.

"The minister of sport has made the ruling," said Montes, "and there will be no exceptions to the decision - not for anyone who has represented India in the past or anyone else."

Amritraj, the son of an even more famous Indian tennis player , Vijay Amritraj, was born in California and has a U S passport. - Sapa

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