Purnima Rau: Personal vendetta behind my sacking

Rau was removed as head coach of India’s women’s team on Friday.

India won the World Cup Qualifiers two months ago under Purnima Rau with a thrilling win in the final against South Africa in the final.   -  Raju. V

On Monday, Purnima Rau was honoured by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for her contribution to the game with a cheque of Rs. 25 lakhs. On Friday, she was removed as head coach of the Indian women's cricket team and replaced by former Baroda left-hander Tushar Arothe.

Outraged by the announcement that has come barely two months ahead of the Women's World Cup in England and Wales, the veteran of five Tests and 33 One-Day Internationals (ODIs) squarely blamed BCCI Committee of Administrators member Diana Eduljee for the development. “This reeks of personal vendetta, which I have faced all along and forced me to quit Railways too,” said Purnima.

“When everything was falling into place and care should have been taken to retain the winning combination, why this change? If senior players have been harping on having a male coach why could he not have been added,” asked Rau.

“Diana bent the rules to get her sister Behroze Edulji, who played just one Test, a cheque of Rs. 15 lakhs. So many more deserving players have been overlooked,” she said.

The former Indian captain quoted from a list of prominent players ignored for the honours. Some glaring omissions include Amita Sharma, who played five Tests, 116 ODIs and 41 T20 internationals and Smitha Harikrishna, who played 22 ODIs, including two World Cups. “This is a downright cheap trick but I can hold my head high after the Indian team's eight victories when I was coach,” concluded Rau.

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