A day after India's ODI captain Mithali Raj accused him for trying to destroy her career, Ramesh Powar, the coach of India women's team, has hit back at the veteran cricketer.
“I hope Mithali stops blackmailing, pressurising coaches and also stops putting her interest first than team’s,” Powar has written in a report submitted to the BCCI chief executive officer Rahul Johri. “I hope she will look at the bigger picture and work towards the betterment of Indian women’s cricket.”
Powar is understood to have submitted his 10-page report to Johri and Saba Karim, BCCI general manager (cricket operations), at the BCCI headquarters here on Wednesday.
The report details his observations about each member of the squad. Understandably, more than half of the report details his experiences with Mithali who he terms as someone who “ignored her role and batted for own milestones. Lack of keeping the momentum going which was putting extra pressure on other batters”.
Powar added that Mithali was allowed to open against Pakistan due to pressure from the selection panel and he alleged the legendary cricketer of dividing the squad during a tournament as crucial as the World T20. “Against Pakistan, to save the positive team environment, we opened with Mithali due to pressure from travelling selector and Mithali’s threatening behaviour (retirement) to go back home if not given a chance to open the innings,” Powar wrote.
“After the Pakistan game, she was moving around with an attitude. Making her own group with a selected few players sitting away from the team. As a head coach, I was very disappointed and saddened to see a legend like her dividing a team in two groups.”
The letter also stated that Mithali struggled in the practice games. “In practice games, she was struggling to score quickly as wickets were slow. Intent was missing. She could not execute shots due to limited ability in skills and fitness.”
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