Somdev Devvarman's charges against Shiv Prakash Misra has not gone well with the veteran Davis Cup captain terming it as unfortunate. "It came as a very, very shocking news. I don't what made him say that. Having played some best matches under my captaincy I'm surprised with his statements now,'' said Misra.
Devvarman and his group had fired a salvo against All India Tennis Association (AITA) putting the association into another crisis. The group, which includes Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna, want changes made to team management, a higher share of Davis Cup prize money and a say in the choice of venues for ties.
'Hurt' by the personal attack on him by Devvarman, Misra even decided to step down as captain of the Davis Cup team."It depends on the AITA. I don't know what is in AITA's mind. As of now I have requested them I would like to step down,'' he added.
On Indian tennis
Everything was fine till we played the Davis Cup at Chandigarh in September. We played with a young side as some of the senior players were not available. The young team beat the experienced New Zealand 5-0. It was a very satisfying moment as all the young players rose to the occasion and performed exceedingly well. After this match, we thought it would be a winnable match against the Koreans but suddenly from out of blue, comes this crisis. Somdev Devvarman comes with this bombshell. I don't how will AITA solve this issue.
On his relations with players
I had a wonderful relations with the players. We had marvellous matches. Somdev is a very good player but in what context he got into this, I don't know. I had the respect of all the players. I took over the captaincy in 2008 when Indian tennis was at crisis. Leander had to step down and captaincy was handed over to me. Players like Leander, Mahesh, Rohan respected my decisions. They never questioned my authority at any time.
On being hurt by Somdev's statement
I was taken back. I don't know what prompted Somdev to say all these things. He could have talked directly to AITA and sorted out the issue instead of making it public and making difficult for young players, whose careers are at stake.They can not say no or yes to Somdev. They are quietly watching the developments. I was appointed as captain by AITA but not by any individual. They had the confidence in me. It was difficult in the beginning as we had legends like Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Boppanna in the team. To lead a side with these stalwarts, it was not an easy job. But everything fell in place and we were performing well. It was a nice team to lead with and then suddenly this development which has made things unpleasant as of now
On his role as captain of the Davis Cup team
As captain, it is stressful. Apart from the tactical part of the game, there are other things to do. I don't think it is not an enjoyable job but it is a great honour to captain a side. It was a big challenge for me. The players also responded superbly and we were riding smoothly before the controversy started before the London Olympics.