Vinod Rai backs Mithali Raj, Diana Edulji backs Ramesh Powar to continure

Updated: Dec 12, 2018, 13:42 IST | Harit N Joshi | Mumbai

SC-appointed CoA chief emerges a supporter of Mithali in her feud against coach Powar even as Diana Edulji wants ex-India offie to continue

Diana Edulji and Vinod Rai
Diana Edulji and Vinod Rai

The selection of India's women's cricket team coach seems to have turned into an ego battle now. From the emails exchanged between Committee of Administrators (CoA) chairman Vinod Rai and its member Diana Edulji, it is quite evident that Rai is in favour of a new coach while Edulji wants interim coach Ramesh Powar to continue till the New Zealand tour.

Bad blood in team
Rai, in one of his emails to Edulji which has been accessed by mid-day, has accused Powar for the bad blood in the team. "The advert for the head coach has [been] issued. If media is to be believed, internationally reputed coaches have applied/are applying. We cannot now withdraw and say that we will continue with our ad-hoc coach of three months - who has been the reason for such bad blood in the team," Rai wrote.

Rai's open support for ODI captain Mithali Raj indicates that the CoA chief is being rigid. "The team must realise that that coaches are not decided on team votes. If it is a question of respecting opinions of senior players - why not respect the opinion of the senior most player - in fact the ODI captain [Raj] of the team? What I cannot understand is why some members of the team, or any other person advising them, is against having an internationally-acclaimed coach. Don't we seek to upgrade the team from the plateau that they keep hitting in international games?" Rai wrote in reference to T20 skipper Harmanpreet Kaur and her deputy Smriti Mandhana's recent emails urging the BCCI to extend coach Powar's tenure till the next T20 World Cup.

Edulji also wrote to Rai to continue with Powar till the forthcoming New Zealand tour and shelve the coach selection process for the time being as the Cricket Advisory Committee of Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman wanted more time to select the women's coach.

The former India women's captain's opinion was based on non-closure of the previous selection process. "You [Rai] went ahead to issue an advert for a new coach without closing the previous process which was not completed and 6 shortlisted candidates are waiting for a result. The CAC [Cricket Advisory Committee] has to select the Head Coach but before their availability was checked, Saba [Karim, BCCI General Manager] had already spoken to Kapil [Dev], Anshuman [Gaekwad] and Shubhangi [Kulkarni]. I enquired for clarity on their conflict roles as how an ad-hoc committee was being formed without proper authority," she wrote.

Ulterior motive
"On the other hand, when I mentioned let's refer the ad-hoc committee issue to the amicus curiae [an impartial adviser to court], you suddenly care about the deadlines and timelines. Regarding the coach, right from the beginning, I have expressed that there should be no change but with someone's ulterior motive emails were leaked and the team was shown as a divided lot which they are not," Edulji added. She reminded Rai that she has an equal stake in CoA decisions. "In my absence, you had a meeting with the 2 Women Cricket Captains [Kaur and Raj in New Delhi] and when I enquired on the same; you replied saying they wanted to meet you so you met them.

"Once again, you have failed to understand that I have an equal say in all matters of BCCI as CoA with equal rights not less not more. As chairman, he can't take any unilateral decisions as there is no casting vote," Edulji wrote, instructing the BCCI CEO Rahul Johri and General Manager Syed Saba Karim to act when both the CoA members have given their approval.

The CoA chief still went ahead and announced the ad-hoc panel of Kapil Dev, Gaekwad and Shantha Rangaswamy, who will interview the candidates on December 20.

Powar re-applies for coach's job
UNDER-fire women's team coach Ramesh Powar re-applied for the post yesterday after the BCCI invited fresh applications. Powar was interim coach and his contract ended on November 30 after the T20 World Cup where India made a shocking semi-final exit.

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