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Row over Davis Cup trials


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BARBADOS’ TOP TENNIS players might not be the only ones absent from this year’s Davis Cup squad.National coach and non-playing captain Kevin Yarde could be facing a temporary suspension from duties following a committee hearing in light of a players’ dispute over the selection and timing of trials.It was just one of the requests players put forwardto the Barbados Tennis Association, which has also been asked to give written apologies to those players who felt aggrieved by what they felt was a faulty selection process.Those proposals came out of an emergency players’ meeting held at the National Tennis Centre on Friday evening, just one day ahead of the scheduled start of trials, to allow the players to air their grievances with president of the tennis association Dr Raymond Forde.The situation arose after Yarde initially failed to invite two highly ranked players, Ryan Moseley and Duncan Evanson, to an eight-man trial squad that will be used for selection to replace the unavailable overseas-based Haydn Lewis, Darian King and Anthony Marshall.The invitees were only notified three days before the start of trials at the tennis centre in Wildey.However, according to Forde, the hasty timing of the trials was unavoidable due to the short notice given by the overseas players over their unavailability.“We were told within the last two to three weeksof their unavailability and hence the trials for our local players were called at such short notice,” said Forde, who added that the International Tennis Federation required the names by May 31.Before, with Lewis, King and Marshall, the governing body has not had to hold trials for the Davis Cup squad for the last three years.The matter further escalated when Yarde still refused to add Moseley, a 2005 Davis Cup member and top-five player, to the squad after Mosely informed Yarde of his availability, hence the emergency meeting.“I found out that trials were going to start this weekend when [fellow player] James Ingrahm told me he got his invitation from Kevin Yarde, and he wanted to go on the court with me since he hadn’t playedin three weeks,” said Moseley“I was looking forward to [getting] my phone call sometime later that same day but when I didn’t, I called [Yarde] and inquired as to whether or not I was selected. He then said that I had not been selected because he wasn’t aware that I was in the island even though I have been playing tournaments for the last two years.”Since the meeting, both Moseley and Duncan have been added to the eight-man squad and werein action yesterday during the opening day of trials.“The council [of the Barbados Tennis Association] has listened and taken all of their proposals but at least 40 per cent of our council members are out of the island at the moment. But we will meet before the end of next week,” said Forde of Yarde’s hearing.“We have a selection committee and some of the members are currently overseas, so a preliminary listof players was circulated before the full committee could be reached and this list had inadvertently left out some of our ranked players,” Forde explained.Barbados open Davis Cup play in Group 4begins on June 28 in Panama.