New Delhi: Even before the jubilation of the Davis Cup triumph had died down, the ban on Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna by the All India Tennis Association (AITA) shocked the tennis fraternity late on Saturday.
The AITA will stick to the young Indian side and will not include Bhupathi and Bopanna in the Davis Cup squad until the country moves up from the Asia/Oceania Group.
The young guns have given India an unassailable 3-0 lead in the relegation play-off tie against New Zealand and the national federation wants them to carry forward the good work in the 2013 season when India will strive to re-enter World Group.
"The young Indian team has done well. After a long time our team is 3-0 up. In Asia/Oceania zone, it will be good to continue with a young team," AITA president Anil Khanna told PTI.
It is a clear indication that Bhupathi and Bopanna, who have been ousted from the side on the count of indiscipline, will have to wait for a long time to return to the side.
India cannot reach the World Group play-off stage before the end of 2013 season since it will have to play atleast two ties in Asia Oceania group to reach that stage.
It is not clear if AITA will consider Leander Paes for the Asia/Oceania tie. Paes missed the ongoing tie as he preferred to play for a club in World Team tennis.
"It was decided in the AITA executive committee meeting here today that Bhupathi and Bopanna will not be considered for selection up till June 30, 2014," the AITA stated in a release.
The two players had objected to partnering Leander Paes at the London Olympics. Following which AITA sent two doubles team - one of Bhupathi and Boppana, and the other of Paes and Vishnu Vardhan.
AITA also decided to go in with a new-look and young team for the ongoing Davis Cup for India's home encounter against New Zealand.
And Bhupathi has already come up with an angry reaction on the Twitter. "The cranky old grand fathers on the executive committee, who have never played tennis waiting for a reaction? There is one coming.stay tuned!," tweeted the veteran.
(With PTI inputs)