Edulji writes to Rai seeking extension for Powar, CoA chief overrules it

In a letter to Rai, CoA member Edulji said Powar should be given an extension at least till the New Zealand tour.

“Diana sent an email to Rai asking for an extension of Powar as both Harmanpreet and Mandhana asked for it. She wanted the interview process to be scrapped,” a BCCI official privy to the development said.   -  PTI

CoA chairman Vinod Rai has decided against his colleague Diana Edulji’s call to scrap the selection process of the Indian women’s team coach and continue with Ramesh Powar at least till the New Zealand tour beginning next month.

In a letter to Rai, CoA member Edulji said Powar should be given an extension, considering he has the backing of T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur and seasoned opener Smriti Mandhana.

Rai, however, in his reply made it clear that not undertaking the coach selection process is out of the question as the BCCI has already invited applications for the job.

The application deadline ends on December 14 and Manoj Prabhakar, Herschelle Gibbs and Dimitri Mascarenhas are among the applicants.

“Diana sent an email to Rai asking for an extension of Powar as both Harmanpreet and Mandhana asked for it. She wanted the interview process to be scrapped,” a BCCI official privy to the development said.

READ: Herschelle Gibbs, Owais Shah apply for India women's coach role

“However, Rai replied by saying that scrapping the process is not possible as the advertisement for the job has already been issued,” the official added.

The BCCI is expected to name the new coach before the New Zealand tour, which begins on January 24. The tour comprises three ODIs and as many T20 Internationals.

READ: Madan Lal backs Ramesh Powar

The women’s team is a divided lot at the moment with Harmanpreet and Mandhana seeking Powar’s extension while the seniormost player Mithali Raj is against such a move.

Powar’s term ended on November 30, a week after India lost to England in the semifinals of the World T20. The team management dropped Mithali for the knock-out fixture, triggering a huge controversy.

READ: BCCI is hiring, no extension for Ramesh Powar

Mithali went on to accuse Powar and Edulji of trying to destroy her and being biased against her.

Powar, on his part, accused Mithali of threatening to retire midway through the World T20 after being denied the opening slot and creating chaos in the team.