Decision to drop Mithali Raj was unanimous: Harmanpreet Kaur
Kaur and Mandhana both backed Ramesh Powar to continue as a coach.
Updated - Jan 7, 2019 2:08 pm
The exclusion of veteran Mithali Raj in the semifinal of the recently concluded ICC Women’s World T20 has been one of the most-talked-about events of the cricketing world of late. Mithali Raj, having been disappointed with how things have unfolded for her, overtly expressed the influence of coach Ramesh Powar in her ouster while also maintaining that she has no issues with Harmanpreet Kaur and if there are any could be solved for the betterment of the team.
The most recent development is that Harmanpreet Kaur and her second in command Smriti Mandhana have written to the Board of Control for Cricket in India(BCCI) and asked the board to have Ramesh Powar continue his services as coach while taking the upcoming world T20 and the New Zealand tour into consideration. This has happened after BCCI decided to invite fresh applications for the post of coach.
The captain and the vice-captain have also pressed on the fact that Powar was not the only person behind Mithali Raj’s omission. They have added that he has played a pivotal role in bringing an attitudinal change among players and the decision of dropping Mithali Raj from the crucial semifinal encounter against England was a ‘unanimous’ decision taken by the team management by keeping ‘cricketing logic’ in mind.
Contents of the letter
As per a report in Hindustan Times, Harmanpreet Kaur wrote in her letter to the BCCI, “I am writing to bring it under your notice that how tremendously our team has gone under positive changes in the past few months and has set a benchmark in the world top teams. Our defeat in the semi-finals was very disheartening and it brings us all to feel more miserable to see how the controversies has stained our image and questioned the entire cricket fraternity.”
The report also quotes Harmanpreet’s justification of Mithali Raj’s omission. “The decision was entirely based on the cricketing logic and observations from the past. Keeping in mind the need of the hour, me, Smriti, selector Sudha Shah and the coach together in the presence of our manager felt that we should go ahead with the winning combination,” it further read.
Smriti roots for an amicable solution
Smriti Mandhana, the vice-captain, seemed to be in complete agreement with her skipper as she wrote, “All the meetings that were held with respect to the playing XI for all the matches came to a unanimous decision which was taken by captain, vice-captain, coach and selector in the presence of our team manager (Trupti Bhattacharya). Since the introduction of Powar, he along with the support staff has boosted our confidence as a team which has helped us win 14 consecutive T20 matches. He changed the intent of the players and gave everyone confidence.”
She also expressed her desire of an amicable solution to resolve the Mithali-Powar controversy. “It is important for Indian cricket’s growth that everybody is on the same page and I believe that any difference can be amicably resolved via discussion,” she signed off.
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~Written by Harikrishnan Sivakumar