'They need an absolute danda' - Diana Edulji slams India over poor fitness standards after T20 World Cup exit
"You are getting everything from the BCCI including equal play. Every time you lose a winning game, it is a habit. BCCI has to take a strong call," Edulji said.
The legendary Indian cricketer Diana Edulji came down heavily on the Indian team after their heart-breaking loss against Australia in the semi-final of the Women's T20 World Cup 2023 on Thursday (February 23). She pointed out India's poor fielding efforts and also asked the management to have a proper assessment of the situation.
Indian bowlers struggled as the reigning champions posted 172 while batting first. The Indian batters dragged the game to the last over but fell five runs short at Newlands, Cape Town, with one of the reasons behind their defeat being poor fielding.
Shafali Verma dropped a sitter of Beth Mooney, who top-scored with 54 off 37, while Richa Ghosh also dropped an easy catch behind the stumps, while some sloppy fielding was on display by the Indian side. India's poor intent in the field attracted harsh words from Edulji, who said that the team needs to be whipped by the management if they want to reach the top.
"They need an absolute danda (BCCI needs to crack the whip) to reach the top. You are getting everything from the BCCI including equal play. Every time you lose a winning game, it is a habit. BCCI has to take a strong call and not give in to the demands of the players. Have a proper strategy for the future. We have had enough of this star culture. It is not going to work like this," Edulji was quoted as saying by NDTV.
'Why are you running in a relaxed manner?' - Diana Edulji on Harmanpreet's dismissal
Indian captain Harmanpreet Kaur kept the team alive in the chase by smashing 52 off 34. However, she got run out in an unusual way as her bat stuck in the ground as she fell short of her ground, as the keeper flicked the bails just in time.
Harmanpreet was slow between the wickets and held the bat in her left hand while running. Edulji slammed the Indian captain for throwing her wicket away, asking the Indian team to learn from Ellyse Perry's extraordinary efforts while fielding. Interestingly, the skipper was doubtful of playing the game, as she was down with illness.
"She is thinking the bat got stuck but if you see the second run she was jogging. Why are you running in a relaxed manner when you know when your wicket is so important? You have to play professional cricket to win. Look at the dive Perry made to save those two runs. That is what professionalism is," Edulji said.
"She was casual on the second run. She thought she would comfortably reach. We were told in the 1970s by Mr. Sunil Gavaskar that every ball you have to learn to ground your bat then only you get into that habit. Her bat was in the wrong hand (left). If she held it in the right hand, she would have been able to stretch herself and complete the run," she added.