Former India cricketer Shantha Rangaswamy blamed the BCCI for leaking Mithali Raj’s letter in the public domain on Tuesday.
The 64-year-old veteran of 16 Tests and 19 ODIs feels the Mithali episode ruined the entire ‘feel good’ factor around the women’s side that performed to its best till the semifinals in the ICC World T20.
“It is sad that Mithali has been shabbily treated but more importantly, how is it that her mail to BCCI was leaked? Is it to get even with somebody who will back you in some other case? It looks like people are trying to settle personal scores.
“Ramesh Powar (coach) is also answerable. You can’t treat a player like that, be it in the dressing room or the dug out,” she told Sportstar on Tuesday.
READ: Mithali Raj shoots letter to BCCI
In her letter to the BCCI, Mithali revealed how she felt insulted by Powar's actions at the training sessions.
Rangaswamy, who has seen the growth of women’s cricket as player as well as a selector, believes Mithali’s letter was selectively leaked by the board.
“Now that the BCCI is under CoA, I feel Vinod Rai (the chief) should step in to restore order. Why is all this happening inside the board? Mithali’s case isn’t the only issue now, it is much larger.”
“All this is coming out through BCCI. Will they have the guts to do this with M.S. Dhoni or Virat Kohli? You can’t take players for granted,” said the yesteryear all-rounder.
The semifinal axe
Rangaswamy took note of the flamboyant show by the women till the quarterfinal.
“It was a good time for Indian women’s cricket; except for the semifinal loss, which was badly managed. On the same day, at the same ground (Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua), the wicket was slow in the first game between Windies and Australia. You needed to play a waiting game, which Mithali does well. But they all tried to hit out.
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"It was a bad decision to leave her out on that wicket. The success seems redundant now.”
Mithali had also scored two fifties, against Pakistan and Ireland.
Rangaswamy wants Mithali to prolong her ODI career, perhaps as a retaliation to the unfair treatment. “She is needed. It will be of immense help if she can play till the next 50-over World Cup in 2021.”
Call for a lady coach
Nooshan Al Khadeer, a member of Mithali’s 2005 World Cup side that finished runner-up to Australia, called for the appointment of a lady coach.
“I think women coaches can understand players better. They can handle the women cricketers. It is a place from where we have risen. It was a lot of hard work,” she said.
The former off-spinner also rubbished speculations on Mithali’s T20I retirement.
“A person who is fit for the format and scoring runs, I think we should leave it to her to take the call. She has played so much cricket for so many years that she knows her body well. When it is time for her to move on, she will take a call,” she said.