Indian women’s cricket team captain in the ODI and test format, Mithali Raj, has accused BCCI (Board of Cricket Control for India) Committee of Administrators (CoA) member Diana Edulji and coach Ramesh Powar of being biased against her and trying to destroy her. In an email written to the BCCI she has said that removing her from the World T20 semi-final against England reduced her to tears and left her deflated in her career spanning over two decades.
She adds that her issues with coach Powar started as soon as they landed in West Indies, where she found his behaviour unfair and discriminatory. Mithali says that he would walk away if she is sitting anywhere nearby, or watch the nets while others are playing but he would walk away when Mithali is playing. She said that he was ignoring her presence and she felt humiliated. She points out that when she broached the topic in front of the manager, Powar accepted that he was wrong in his behaviour. However, she says that following the meeting with the manager, Powar’s behaviour worsened.
Mithali then expressed shock at being kept out of the team in the game against Australia. Powar even instructed her not to step out of the dressing room to watch the team play, she says. She says that even though she let her side known to Diana Edulji, a former Indian team captain herself, Edulji defended her team’s decision to drop her by taking advantage of the position of power she holds.
Controversy erupted after Mithali was omitted from the playing eleven against England and intensified after India lost the title. “I think too much is being made out of it. The management (captain Harmanpreet Kaur, coach Ramesh Powar, vice-captain Smriti Mandhana and selector Sudha Shah) made the decision of not changing a winning combination and that backfired. If India had won the game, I am sure nobody would have questioned their decision,” Edulji had said.
“Her brazen support in the press with regard to the decision of my benching in the semi-final of the T20 World Cup has left me deeply distressed, more because she knows the real facts having spoken to me,” Mithali wrote in her letter.