Veteran Indian women's cricketer Mithali Raj took to Twitter to respond to coach Ramesh Powar's claims in his tour report to the BCCI, where he alleged that she had threatened to retire from the national squad.
Mithali said, "I'm deeply saddened & hurt by the aspersions cast on me. My commitment to the game & 20yrs of playing for my country. The hard work, sweat, in vain.Today, my patriotism doubted, my skill set questioned & all the mud slinging- it's the darkest day of my life. May god give strength."
Powar is understood to have submitted his 10-page report to Johri and Saba Karim, BCCI general manager (cricket operations), at the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai on Wednesday.
“I hope Mithali stops blackmailing, pressurising coaches and also stops putting her interest first than team’s,” Powar said in the report he 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 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,” he added.
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