Harmanpreet, Smriti want Powar to continue as coach

Paola Ditto
Dicembre 6, 2018

The meeting - in the presence of Vinod Rai, the head of the Committee of Administrators (CoA) - does not, however, appear to have ended the issue: a day after the meeting Harmanpreet sent an email to the CoA and the BCCI top brass reiterating the rationale behind not playing Raj, India's most experienced player, in the semi-finals of the WT20 and backing as well as Ramesh Powar as coach.

"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", Harmanpreet said.

Signing off, she wrote: "Cutting the conversation short, I, as the T20 captain and ODI vice-captain is appealing before you to allow Powar to further continue as our team coach". The way he has transformed us as a team, I feel no reason to replace him with any better at this point of time when the team is coordinating well with him and amongst each other.

Mithali went on to accuse Powar and COA member Diana Edulji of trying to destroy her and having a bias against her.

The captain and the vice-captain have also pressed on the fact that Powar was not the only person behind Mithali Raj's omission. On her part, Harmanpreet told Raj that the decision to exclude her from the World T20 semis was not a personal choice but a collective call. "With regard to the exclusion of Mithali, Sir Ramesh Powar was not singlehandedly (singularly) responsible".

In his defence, Powar, in a ten-page report entirely focused on Mithali, had stated that ODI captain blackmailed to retire midway through the ICC Women's World T20 in the West Indies after being denied the opening slot.

Harmanpreet also went on to write that the decision to drop Mithali was unanimous and exclusively due to 'cricketing logics'.

In the letter, which is also addressed to BCCI office-bearers, Harmanpreet and Smriti said the team has improved significantly since Powar was appointed full-time coach in August. 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. Keeping in mind the need of the hour where me and Smrithi, the selector (Sudha Shah) and the coach together in the presence of our manager felt that we should go ahead with the winning combination.

"The decision was entirely based on the cricketing logics and observations from the past. He has inculcated in us the sense of winning", Harmanpreet wrote in a letter to BCCI.

"Another change of coach will effect our growth and we will have to start from the scratch". Ramesh Powar has changed the intent of players and given everyone confidence to express their selves on the field to their fullest. "Whatever be the reason for Ramesh Sir's and Mithali Raj's conflicts, they should solve it across the table like a family. His one to one connect each player has led to clarity in roles for all players and made everyone believe that they are match victor in his short tenure with the team (sic)".

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