Johnson chooses Maxwell as his captain of Australia’s 2019 World Cup squad

Johnson chooses Maxwell as his captain of Australia's 2019 World Cup squad

Retired Australia pacer Mitchell Johnson has picked allrounder Glenn Maxwell as his captain for Australia’s 2019 World Cup squad. The mega event is scheduled to be played in England and Wales, from 30 May to 14 July 2019. 


Johnson, in his column for Perth Now, wrote that Maxwell would be a great choice for the captain of the team for the upcoming mega event. Maxwell has been leading Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League (BBL); which has helped him to grow as a cricketer as well.

“My decision to pick Glenn Maxwell as captain might raise eyebrows. But having played with him both for Australia and in the Indian Premier League, I can say that this polarising cricketer is misunderstood,” former pace spearhead wrote in his column. “He might not be your typical first-choice captain, though clearly Melbourne Stars have seen something in Maxwell. Leadership has helped him mature, helped to settle him and bring the best out of him. More importantly, Maxwell is a cricket tragic who loves the game and thinks deeply about it,” added Johnson.

Johnson and Maxwell both played an important role in Australia’s World Cup win in 2015 at home. Also, Johnson played alongside Maxwell in the Indian Premier League (IPL) as well for Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab. Moreover, Johnson expressed how Maxwell used to give ideas during team meetings and help in making strategies against the opposition.

“I spent a lot of time with Maxwell in the IPL at both Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab and he was always very vocal in team meetings particularly with planning such as fielding positions for certain players. He knows opposition players very well and doesn’t forget much,” wrote Johnson.

“He reads the game well and that’s essential for a captain. Maxi is not a leader who will just let things roll on, either. He thinks outside the square. He is 30 now and knows the game inside out.”

However, Johnson wrote that due to captaincy pressure, Finch isn’t able to perform well. He can perform brilliantly if the pressure isn’t there as he is a world-class player.

“A change in captain would also help take some pressure off struggling opener Aaron Finch. I’ve retained Finch in my squad as a batsman because he has had some excellent performances in England previously,” Johnson added. 

Australia squad as chosen by Mitchell Johnson:

Glenn Maxwell (C), Usman Khawaja (VC), Aaron Finch, David Warner, D’Arcy Short, Steve Smith, Shaun Marsh, Marcus Stoinis, Peter Handscomb (WK), Pat Cummins, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Mitchell Starc, Jhye Richardson, AJ Tye, Adam Zampa

Trending: Top 3 contenders of IPL 2019

Ellyse ‘exceptional’ Perry makes history in Women’s Big Bash League

Ellyse 'exceptional' Perry makes history in Women's Big Bash League

How many of you have seen a player who can score runs, take wickets and has a brilliant fielding skill? There are very few players in the world cricket with all these qualities and Ellyse Perry is definitely one of them. 


One of the best all-rounders, Australia’s Ellyse Perry has certainly come a long way with her all-round performances. Though in the national team, she comes into bat in the lower middle order, she left no stone unturned in the ongoing Women’s Big Bash League. She has continued her incredible form to guide her side Sydney Sixers reach the final of the WBBL.

Probably, there is nothing which Ellyse Perry can’t do!

She became the first player both male and female to reach 2000 runs in Big Bash League during their match against Renegades on January 13 where she scored an unbeaten 67 at Geelong’s Simonds Stadium. The semi-final against Melbourne Renegades showed Perry’s capability once again.

Having won the toss, Sydney Sixers elected to bat first but got off to a horror start. In-form opener Alyssa Healy, Ashleigh Gardner, and Erin Burns got dismissed within the powerplay. They were reduced to 33/4 when Sara McGlashan got out in the 10th over. Captain Perry scored another half-century, added 98-run with Dane van Niekerk through a steady association and put up 131/4 after 20 overs.

Chasing 132, Melbourne Renegades too had a similar start and reduced to 19/3 very quick. Sophie Molineux and Jessica Duffin steadied the chase. When 13 runs were needed in the last over to win the game, Perry came to finish her spell. Molineux hit the first ball towards a deep backward point boundary, following two singles and 4 runs in next four balls. And, then came the last ball which led the game to the super over.

Also Read: Mithali hopes for a positive start to 2019

Three runs were needed to win the final ball. Molineux hit over the backward point where Erin Burns sprinted from the deep cover-point and her wonderful diving save the boundary. Sarah Aley was there who throw the ball to Healy but Molineux’s partner Claire Koski reached the ground by that time. While coming back for three Molineux got slow and couldn’t cover the ground. Alyssa Healy gathered the ball from Aley’s throw and throw it to the non-striker’s end which caused Molineux’s dismissal and leaves the scores tied.

In the super over, Kapp’s brilliant spell allow Renegades to put up just six runs. In reply, Alyssa Healy and Ellyse Perry opened the chase. Three singles came from the first three balls while a remarkable six in the fourth ball from Perry keep Sydney Sixers’ dream alive of winning the third consecutive WBBL title.

WBBL somehow changed the pace of T20 game. Before 130-140 was the safe score to win a match but now 180 too isn’t safe. Scoring 300 runs in a season was considered a very good WBBL season before. It would become a great season if someone crossed 400. For the first two seasons of WBBL, it was only Meg Lanning who scored over 500 runs. In the third season of WBBL in 2017-18, Ellyse Perry and Elyse Villani managed to cross 500 but Lanning’s 560 in the first season remained the highest score.

But Perry has been going through an exceptional tournament this year in the WBBL. She has scored the most runs ever in a single season. Perry amassed 744 runs in 15 matches opening the batting for Sydney Sixers, break Lanning’s record and created a new one. This year her scores are as follows: 58, 102*, 74*, 10, 72*, 103*, 2, 8, 48, 47, 13, 80*, 67*, 6, 54*. Though there are big hitters present in the team like Alyssa Healy and Ashleigh Gardner, Perry provides the stability in the innings and try to anchor till the end.

Not only with the bat but she performed with the ball as well. She scalped 10 wickets in 15 matches. Along with this, her fielding is known to everyone. She is one of the best fielders in the world cricket right now. No wonder, her side, Sydney Sixers is the top of the table. Having started the career as a bowler, Ellyse Perry now has become the top-four ODI batters with 25 half-centuries and the average is just under 50.

She is the no. 1 batter and the all-rounder in the ICC ODI ranking while 9th as a bowler and in T20I, she stands 3rd in all-rounders’ list, 5th among the bowlers and 22nd among batters. Like the previous seasons, she will try to guide her team Sydney Sixers to another win in the final against Brisbane Heat at Drummoyne Oval, Sydney on January 26. It will be interesting to see, whether Perry, who has led the team from the front in the whole season, will have the last laugh or Brisbane Heat will be able to win their first ever WBBL title.

BCCI official questions Harmanpreet Kaur over fake graduation degree after Pandya-Rahul controversy

BCCI official questions Harmanpreet Kaur over fake graduation degree after Pandya-Rahul controversy

While the Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul controversy is yet to be solved by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), another question has popped up regarding the captaincy of Harmanpreet Kaur in the shortest format of the game. 


Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul have been suspended from the ongoing series as well as from the upcoming series for their comments which they made on a chat show on TV, named Koffee with Karan. As per the report in The Times of India, senior BCCI officials have questioned India T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur over her fake graduation degree that made headlines last year.

Earlier, Harmanpreet Kaur’s graduation degree was allegedly found to be fake in a vigilance inquiry conducted by the Chaudhary Charan Singh University (CCSU), Meerut, last year in July. Because of the controversy, she also lost her job as DSP in Punjab police after it was found that her degree was fake. The job she was given for her excellent performance in cricket.

Also Read: All the controversy about Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul

The BCCI official has pointed out board’s double standards and said that Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul were suspended for their wrongdoing and sent back home from Australia but Harmanpreet Kaur continues to play for the country as well as, lead the team in T20 format despite she’s being involved in a fake degree issue.

“If Pandya and Rahul have to serve a suspension pending inquiry, then what about Harmanpreet Kaur? She is the captain of the Indian team at a time when she is being investigated for possessing a fake graduation degree. Someone wants to conveniently protect her but ban these two cricketers for a year,” a BCCI official said to Times of India.

“There is a legal process on, right? Then how is she the captain of the Indian (T20) team. She lost her DSP rank and is still fighting the case. Has the BCCI even tried following up on what happened,” he further added.

After having left her job at Railways last year in March, Harmanpreet Kaur joined Punjab police. The transfer was not at all easy for her as she had bond period left with Railways and she was only allowed to move her base to Punjab after the intervention from Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.

Though after losing the DSP job, she had defended herself in the fake degree controversy by saying that she couldn’t give the post-graduation exams for her overseas cricket tours, she did complete her graduation.

“On the basis of my graduation certificate, I took admission in post graduation course in a different university but could never take my exams because of overseas tournaments. Today, that very degree is being called fake,” Kaur had told last year. “When you did your graduation, did you go to the head office to verify your enrollment number? Nobody does that. I did exactly the same thing. If I am playing, my focus is obviously on cricket. Apart from that, I just wanted to complete my graduation.”

Apart from this, she was recently in news not only for her cricket but also for the difference with the India ODI captain Mithali Raj. She said that Mithali Raj’s exclusion from the team in the semi-final against Australia in the World T20 last year was a collective decision by her, Smriti Mandhana, then coach Ramesh Powar and the selector Sudha Shah.

Later, she and Smriti Mandhana wrote to BCCI in support of Ramesh Powar as the head coach of the team after Mithali Raj’s email to BCCI got leaked where she stated Ramesh Powar’s behavior towards her along with his lack of man-management skills. Though Mithali Raj said that she and Harmanpreet have moved on from the incident in the pre-departure conference prior to their leaving for New Zealand on Sunday, January 13.

Team India will face New Zealand in a three-match ODI and the same number of T20I series in January-February. Mithali will lead the team in ODIs where Harmanpreet Kaur will continue to be her deputy while in T20Is, Harmanpreet Kaur will lead and Smriti Mandhana will be her deputy.

Mithali Raj is hoping for a positive start to 2019 with the New Zealand tour

Mithali Raj: The Epitome Of Class and Consistency

Mithali Raj said she and Harmanpreet Kaur both have moved on and expects WV Raman will ‘make a big difference’.


India are all set to face New Zealand for three-match ODI and the same number of T20I series from January 24. After 13 long years, for the first time since 2006, they are going to play there. Apart from ODI captain Mithali Raj and pace spearhead Jhulan Goswami, no other India players have the experience of playing there before.

Also Read: Everything about the newly appointed coach, WV Raman

India lost all the three matches at home against Australia last year in March; which followed by a three-wicket defeat against Sri Lanka in September. Currently, they are at the fifth place with 8 points from 9 matches in the ICC Women’s Championship (2017-20); whereas New Zealand is in the second place with 12 points.

As only top four teams get the chance to a direct qualification to the 2021 World Cup, they are desperate to win the series.

“I do understand that the home series against Australia hasn’t gone well for us,” Raj said in the press conference prior to the team’s departure to New Zealand on Sunday, January 13. “This series, in that perspective, is very very important for us, if we can get six points.”

While talking about the experience of playing in New Zealand before, Mithali said that it will be a new fresh challenge altogether.

“Jhulu (Jhulan Goswami) and I have last toured New Zealand in 2006. Over these years, things in New Zealand also would have changed. We have only played in Auckland and Christchurch. We haven’t played at other places that we are touring this time. So that will be a first experience for us after so many years,” Mithali said.

Both the teams will play their three ODIs in Napier, Mount Maunganui, and Hamilton respectively while the three-match T20I series will be played in Wellington, Auckland, and Hamilton.

As the rest of the squad will have their maiden experience of playing in New Zealand, the newly appointed head coach, WV Raman believes that it could go in both ways.

“There are two ways of looking at it. One is of course, the entire team hasn’t been there, which means that they can always go with an open mind and play without any fear.” Raman expressed. “The other side of the coin is that New Zealand will see a lot of unknown quantities. That can always be a dangerous thing in cricket even if they have the advantage of being the home team.”

India has left for the New Zealand 10 days earlier just to acclimatize with the conditions there.

“The conditions will be different,” India ODI Skipper admitted. “Getting us those early few days [in New Zealand] will give us that advantage of getting into the series with better preparation.”

Last year Mithali’s exclusion from the World T20 semifinal match against England in Antigua led to the differences between her and Ramesh Powar (then coach), as well as India T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur. However, the Indian skipper in limited-overs said that she and Kaur, both of them have moved on from that incident and for them, the team comes first over their personal differences.

“We did meet up after what has happened. Both of us have moved on from there,” Mithali said. “Too much emphasis has been given to that controversy. It happened last year. All of us should look forward to 2019. At this level every player understands what it takes to reach this level and what it takes as a team to play in an overseas tour, to aim to win the series, to aim to gain those points.”

“Even though we might have difference of opinions but when we sit down as players and discuss, it is always for the benefit of the team and what works for the team is what is decided by everybody and I believe that, as the ODI captain, it is important for me to get the team together and important that we perform as a unit. Because individual brilliance will win you matches but if you’ve to win series, you need every core member of your team to perform and that performance has to complement the team’s goal. That’s what I believe will get the team again and that’s what we’re going to work on,” Mithali further added.

While talking about the coach WV Raman, Mithali said that his experience will make a big difference.

“When a coach comes in the national side, we as a team are very vocal and expressive as to what is required for the benefit of the team. The coach and the players will have to be on the same page because that’s very important.”

“And I am sure. I have not trained under him (Raman) but met him couple of time and if you seen his credential. He has played (at the highest level) and coached various teams at various levels,” she further added. “So he comes with that and there are no expectations as such when you have credentials like that, you are only positive that the coach will make big difference to the team, getting in to the year and to the series.” 

Mithali also acknowledged that all coaches have played crucial roles in shaping up the team.

“I honestly believe every coach like how very captain has a very different take, they get very different perspective to the table, so does the coach. The team what it is today, is because of all those various coaches, who trained the team in these years, the team has come so far and his (Raman) knowledge will only benefit the team to go further and above, to move forward,” she added.

It wouldn’t be easy for India to defeat New Zealand at their home soil where their two key players Suzie Bates and Sophie Devine are in a great form in the ongoing Women’s Big Bash League. After a disappointing World T20 campaign, they will surely give a tough fight to India. For India, T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur and her deputy Smriti Mandhana too are among runs in the ongoing Women’s Big Bash League; which will play an important role in India’s win. Now it will be interesting to see who will have the last laugh!

When Australia Won Their First Cricket World Cup

When Australia Won Their First Cricket World Cup

Australia has been the undisputed champion in the world of cricket for decades. Be it male, or female cricket Australia has proved themselves always. On this day Australian women’s cricket team won the very first cricket world cup, male or female. 


The first women’s world cup was held in 1973, two years before the version of male counterpart began. The next was scheduled to be held in 1978 but women’s cricket was going through serious financial trouble. Following that West Indies and Holland withdrew their names from the world cup just before the announcement of tournament dates. So finally it was a clash among four teams- Australia, New Zealand, England the previous champion and India the debutant. Only India had some sort of chance of pulling audience for the women’s world cup and hence India was declared to be the host of the tournament.

Also Read: Why The Ashes are seen as Cricket war 

Due to a very few numbers of teams, the tournament was decided to be played in a round robin format without a final where each team meets all the contestants and winner is chosen based on the numbers without a final, unlike elimination format. However, the last match played between the two strongest teams, England Women and Australia Women.

Margaret Jennings (Image; www.cricketcounty.com)

Australia Women began their journey in an easy win over New Zealand. Wendy Hills helped Aussie to set a target of 177 and bowlers like Sharon Tredrea and Raelee Thomson defended the total very well and the Kiwis could only score 111 for 8. The host on the same day began their journey of women’s world cup began in a very unfortunate way against the defending champion.

Australia continued their victorious journey throughout the tournament and Sharon Tredea delivered with bat also against India and Peta Vecro with a brilliant bowling figure of 9-3-9-3 bundled India for just 79. Elsewhere on the same day England thrashed New Zealand and won easily by 7 wickets with 57 balls remaining.

As expected the finalists from the previous season were scheduled to meet on 13th January 1978 in the second women’s cricket world cup final. Electing to bat first England Women produced a miserable performance against the yellow women. Sharon was on fire. Her 4 wicket spell with assistance from Verco in no time made England crawl at 28 for 6. Only Thomas and Watmough could add a meticulously slow 21 for the second wicket. Thomas was joined by Shirley Hodges, the wicketkeeper and the two added another 22 for the seventh wicket. Hodges and Glynis Hullah survived till the last ball to put on a score of 96-8 for 50 Overs.

Despite that easy target, Australia were soon on 6 for 2. Thanks to Hullah for quickly sending Lorraine Hill and Hills back to the pavilion. The Aussies were in a tough situation but it was still under control. Janette Tredrea, sister of Sharon and the skipper Margaret Jennings approached the target with absolute calm. They were in no hurry. The goal was not to lose wickets anymore. Both remained unbeaten, Jennings on 57 and Janette on 37; and won the first ever world cup by 8 wickets for Australia, male or female.

England began their world cup journey in 1978 with a bit of controversy. Rachel Heyhoe- Flint, arguably the first great female cricket was dropped from the England squad. It had been rumored that her popularity wasn’t going well with the administration. Once they lost it in 1978, it took another 16 years for England to win it in 1993. For Australia, it was just the beginning of their dominance in the world of cricket. They went on to win the women’s version for three consecutive times starting from 1978 and eventually became the most successful team with 6 world cups.

BCCI appoints WV Raman As the Head Coach Of Indian Women’s Cricket Team

BCCI appoints WV Raman As the Head Coach Of Indian Women's Cricket Team

WV Raman has been appointed as the Head Coach of the Indian Women’s Cricket Team by BCCI on December 20.


The BCCI had been looking for a new Head Coach for the Women’s Team after Ramesh Powar’s term as interim coach ended in controversial circumstances with Mithali Raj’s accusation of humiliating during the World T20 before dropping her in the most important ICC Women’s World T20 semi-final against England where India lost the match by eight wickets. While Mithali Raj got the support from most of the people, India T20I captain Harmanpreet Kaur, vice-captain Smriti Mandhana, and BCCI’s Committee of Administrators member Diana Edulji have supported Ramesh Powar to give an extension but CoA chief Vinod Rai rejected Edulji’s proposal.

 

Following the controversy, the board decided to invite fresh applications for the post where 28 applicants have been in the list, from where 11 were shortlisted. While 9 interviewed on Thursday, 2 candidates withdrew their application as per the news. After the interviews, 3 names were recommended by the by a three-member ad-hoc committee to the BCCI. The BCCI formed the new ad-hoc committee to finalize Indian Women’s Cricket Coach when the Cricket Advisory Committee decided not to interfere. The new committee was comprised of Shantha Rangaswamy, Kapil Dev and Anshuman Gaekwad.

The three names which were recommended to BCCI – former South Africa cricketer Gary Kirsten, former India player Venkatesh Prasad, and WV Raman. Kirsten was the first choice for the post but his contract with Royal Challengers Bangalore in Indian Premier League didn’t allow him to take the job.

“Mr Kirsten was unable to take up this assignment due to his ongoing contract with an Indian Premier League franchise, which would have entailed Conflict of Interest as per the BCCI constitution,” Board said. Raman was second in preference ahead of Prasad and was hence selected. PTI quoted an official of BCCI who said that Kirsten was “not very keen to leave the RCB role.”

Raman, who was a batting consultant at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru, was the second choice right after Gary Kirsten. The 53-year-old made his debut in 1988. He played 11 Tests, 27 ODIs, 132 First-Class matches and 87 List A matches in his 10 years career. He was the first Indian to score an ODI century in South Africa during their tour in 1992-93. He has more than 1000 international runs in his name. He amassed 7939 runs in First-Class matches while scored 2892 runs in List A matches.

After retiring from the cricket, he has made a great reputation of being one of the most successful coaches in the country. He has worked with the Tamil Nadu (2005-20007) and Bengal (2001-2002, 2010-2013) teams as well as associated with the Indian U-19 setup. He was the assistant coach of Kings XI Punjab (2013) in Indian Premier League while he served as a batting coach of Kolkata Knight Riders (2014) as well. He has been working as the batting consultant at the National Cricket Academy since 2015. During this time, he also coached India A team, Duleep Trophy, and Under-19 teams.

His first assignment with Indian Women’s Cricket Team will be the upcoming New Zealand tour which is scheduled to be played from January 24, 2019. The tour is comprised of 3 ODIs and 3 T20Is.


 

Harmanpreet, Mandhana smash half-centuries for winning causes for their respective teams

BCCI are ready to run Women's T20 exhibition matches during IPL 2019

India T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur and her deputy Smriti Mandhana smashed half-centuries for their respective sides and helped them to win convincingly. 


This is Harmanpreet Kaur’s third stint with Sydney Thunder. She was the first player from India (both male and female) who got the chance to play in the Big Bash League. From the Asia Cup to recently concluded ICC Women’s World T20, she has been in a prolific form. This season started with a 28-ball 45 against Sydney Sixers.

Kaur scored a half-century for the winning cause on the very next match against Brisbane Heat. Her 56 comprised with 6 fours and 3 sixes. Sydney Thunders then restricted Brisbane Heat out for 164 in 18.5 overs to a convincing 28-run win at the North Sydney Oval ground.

Harmanpreet Kaur was recently involved in a controversy related to the dropping of experienced India ODI captain Mithali Raj in the semifinal of the ICC Women’s World T20; where they lost miserably. She was the top-scorer of Sydney Thunder.

Harmanpreet got promoted on the day and batted at number three. She made two crucial partnerships, first 41 runs for the third wicket with Naomi Stalenberg; who scored 10 off 13 and the second 53 runs for the fourth wicket with captain Alex Blackwell; who scored 33* off 18.

On the other hand, Smriti Mandhana is playing her second season in Women’s Big Bash League. She was a part of Brisbane Heat in the 2016-17 season but she had to leave after getting injured during a fielding session in a match. Mandhana too has been in a great form and scored 178 runs in 5 matches in the recently concluded ICC Women’s World T20.

She is playing for Hobart Hurricanes this year and in the second match, she top-scored for her side with a 41-ball 69 and helped her side to put up 196 after the 20 overs; while batting first against Melbourne Stars at West Park Oval, Burnie.

Her innings comprised with 13 fours and came off 41 balls. Hobart Hurricanes later bowled Melbourne Stars for 124 in 16.5 overs and win comfortably.

Harmanpreet, Mandhana back Powar to continue as a coach

Harmanpreet, Mandhana back Powar to continue as a coach

Mithali Raj-Ramesh Powar controversy took another turn when India T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur and her deputy Smriti Mandhana backed Ramesh Powar to continue as a coach despite the differences between veteran Mithali Raj and Ramesh Powar. 


The public spat started after dropping Mithali Raj in the semi-final against Australia where India lost the game by eight wickets. Where everyone supported Mithali Raj in this controversy, Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana wrote to BCCI and CoA in support of Ramesh Powar.

After Tushar Arothe’s sudden left, Ramesh Powar was given a three-month contract, till the end of November. Under Powar, India won both the ODI and T20I series in Sri Lanka and topped their group in the World T20. It was India’s first semifinal appearance in World T20 after eight long years.

Having backed Powar, Harmanpreet wrote, “I, as the T20 captain and ODI vice-captain is appealing before you to allow Powar to further continue as our team coach. There are hardly 15 months for the next T20 World Cup and a month to go for the New Zealand tour. The way he has transformed us into a team, I feel no reason to replace him.”

“Our defeat in the semi-finals was very disheartening and it brings us all to feel more miserable to see how the controversies has stained our image and questioned the entire cricket fraternity,” Harmanpreet added. “Sir Ramesh Powar not only improved us as players but did motivate us to set targets and challenge our own limits. He has changed the face of Indian women’s cricket team both technically and strategically. He has inculcated in us the sense of winning.”

She also wrote that dropping Mithali Raj was a decision taken by the team management. “With regard to the exclusion of Mithali Raj, sir Ramesh Powar was not single-handedly responsible. The decision was entirely based on the cricketing logic and observations from the past.”

“Keeping in mind the need of the hour where me, Smriti, the selector (Sudha Shah) and the coach together in the presence of our manager felt that we should go ahead with the winning combination. And I believe it should have come to your understanding that the intent was not personal but entirely based for the welfare of the team.”

Harmanpreet added that a new change at this time could hamper the team’s growth. “Another change of coach will affect our growth and we will have to start from the scratch. And whatever may be the reason for Ramesh sir’s and Mithali Raj’s conflicts, they should solve it across the table like a family and call it a truce. This will provide more sense and security to them and the entire team.”

Smriti Mandhana too supported Harmanpreet Kaur in this, said Powar helped them to become a better cricketer. “Since the introduction of Powar, he along with the support staff has boosted our confidence as a team which has helped us win 14 consecutive T20 matches. He changed the intent of the players and gave everyone confidence,” Mandhana wrote in her report.

The last date for applying for the coach’s job will end on December 14. The BCCI is looking for a candidate to fill the vacancy whereas Kaur and Mandhana have already reached Australia to play in the Women’s Big Bash League.

Mithali Raj – Ramesh Powar chronicle | Loss of Indian Women’s Cricket

Mithali Raj - Ramesh Powar chronicle | Loss of Indian Women's Cricket

Mithali Raj, Ramesh Powar public spat to inviting a new applicant for Head Coach; suffers Indian Women’s cricket. 


The first ever stand-alone tournament of the year, ICC Women’s World T20 has ended recently where India reached the top four after eight long years. They beat New Zealand, Pakistan, Ireland, Australia in the group league and finished as the group-topper. They faced England in the semi-final where within 18 months England again beat them after the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017. India captain Harmanpreet Kaur and the coach Ramesh Powar showed a bold decision by dropping experienced Mithali Raj from the most important match.

Mithali Raj, one of the best batters in the world, has performed well in the World T20 as well. She scored two back-to-back half-centuries against Pakistan and Ireland before getting rest in the match against Australia due to knee-injury and slight fever.

While team management decided to play with the winning combination, Mithali Raj’s omission from the playing XI in the crucial match against England in Antigua on November 22, led them to a big controversy as they lost the game by eight wickets.

As stated in Times Of India, the decision to drop Mithali Raj in the knockout game was taken a few hours prior to the match by the team management (captain Harmanpreet Kaur, the coach Ramesh Powar and the vice-captain Smriti Mandhana). Sudha Shah, the selector too agreed with the decision.

“I, as manager, convened the meeting. They (captain, coach, and selector) discussed the wicket and the coach expressed that the same winning combination against Australia should play. Harman and Smriti shared the same view and also told the selector, Sudha Shah, that an extra bowler would help the team. Sudha Shah agreed to the XI and did not express anything,”
Trupti Bhattacharya, the team manager, expressed in her report.

 

While Mithali Raj’s personal coach RSR Murthy told to the Sportstar that Mithali was “crestfallen” after being dropped out.

“Mithali was told after the warm-up session on the morning of the semifinal that she doesn’t figure in the playing XI, leaving her terribly disappointed. Only last night, I spoke to her and she looked mentally and physically geared up for the semifinal and even hinted that she might not open but would play in the middle-order,” Murthy told. “I told her just to enjoy batting in any position she gets a chance. Apparently, the coach and the captain Harmanpreet Kaur took the call to drop her.”

 

The news of Mithali’s omission spread too quickly. Anisha Gupta, her commercial manager, tweeted, saying Harmanpreet Kaur “manipulative, lying, cheat”. Everyone started tweeting against the captain and the coach while Harmanpreet defended the call to drop Mithali, saying,

“Whatever we decided, we decided for the team. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.”

 

Later on, when it was told that CoA, consisting of Vinod Rai and Diana Edulji wanted Mithali Raj’s fitness log from the World Twenty20 and wanted to meet the concerned players, manager, and coach to understand the reason, Edulji told Mid-Day that she had not asked for the fitness log. But former coach Tushar Arothe’s statement showed another way of the story, where he said that Edulji had asked about dropping Pooja Vastrakar in the Asia Cup final against Bangladesh in June.

Another controversy started when Mithali Raj broke her silence after coming back to India and her email to the BCCI got leaked; where she vented her anger over the coach and CoA member Diana Edulji, saying,

“with Diana turning against me publicly and with the coach’s unjust behavior, I feel utterly dejected and depressed.” according to India Today.

 

Things got uglier when the next day coach Ramesh Powar’s letter too got leaked, where he expressed that he always found Mithali “aloof and difficult to handle”.

All these nasty blame games left Mithali “Deflated, depressed and let down”; which she tweeted saying “the darkest day of my life.”

For which she got the support from her fans and former players like Jhulan Goswami, Sunil Gavaskar etc. while Ramesh Powar got trolled for his philosophical tweet over that.

The enmity between Mithali Raj and Ramesh Powar has shaken Indian women’s cricket. Every story has it’s two sides. Where Mithali Raj’s contribution to the sport is unquestionable. The stalwart of women’s cricket who stood strong in every situation whenever the team needed her for the last 19-years.

On the other hand, India finished the World T20 with 4 wins and 1 defeat under Powar’s coaching which is considered their best performance to date. In every previous edition, India had lost at least two matches. Before this tournament, they had never beaten New Zealand or Australia but this year they did. Moreover, a lot of players have praised his work, to play a fearless brand of cricket. India lost only 2 matches out of 13 matches including ODIs and T20Is within this three months.

If Powar’s words to be believed, then the veteran’s behavior was not appropriate towards the game, while Mithali Raj’s email expressed Powar’s lack of man-management skills. Powar, who had a not-so-good international career, got an opportunity to create an image for himself.

If we go with the cricketing record, Mithali Raj is one of the best batters as well as the highest run-getter in the world in ODI format but might not be the best batter in the shortest format. Though the numbers (2,283 runs at an average of 37.42) are impressive in the first look, her strike rate is low than Jemimah Rodrigues (129), Anuja Patil (125), Harmanpreet Kaur (124), Smriti Mandhana (124), Mithali Raj (103) for the last two years. Her strike rate exceeded 125 only once, in the match against Malaysia.

But, we can’t deny the fact that Mithali Raj has the ability to anchor any innings till the end and she is one of the best batters of slow-pitch. The pitch which was used in the semi-final was a little slow and India’s decision to drop her backfired them.

It will be wrong to take anyone’s side without knowing the right things. With these blame games and leaked emails, the lone sufferer is the Indian Women’s Cricket, which started getting their due recognition after the ICC Women’s World Cup last year. Powar’s stint with Women’s team has ended on Friday and BCCI has started inviting new applications for the post.

There are certain criteria for the post. Candidates should have either played international cricket or should have done a Level ‘C’ coaching course from the National Cricket Academy or a similar organization. They should have played 50 first-class matches. If anyone does not fill these two criteria, then he/she should have the experience of coaching of an international team for one season or a T20 franchise for two seasons. Only below 60 years of age people are eligible for this post to apply. The selected person will be given a two-year contract.

New coach’s first assignment will be the New Zealand tour. India will tour to New Zealand in late January and the series will start from January 24. They will play three ODIs as a part of the ICC Women’s Championship (2017-20) and three T20Is there.

Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana @Women’s Big Bash league

Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana @Women's Big Bash league

HIGHLIGHTS:

 

⚬ Harmanpreet Kaur will continue to represent Sydney Thunder for the third consecutive season.

 

⚬ Smriti Mandhana has been picked by Hobart Hurricanes for this season.

 

⚬ Women’s Big Bash League will begin on & from 1st December.


The Women’s Big Bash League is back with its fourth season. With eight franchises showcasing the biggest names from women’s cricket world and the best talents of Australia, this season will start on and from 1st December. The first match will feature Hobart Hurricanes and Pert Scorchers. Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana, the captain and vice captain duo of Indian T20 team will be featured in this season’s Big Bash as well.

Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana
Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana pose for the cameras © Annesha Ghosh

Harmanpreet Kaur will continue to represent Sydney Thunder for the third consecutive season whereas Smriti Mandhana has been picked by Hobart Hurricanes for this season replacing her teammate Veda Krishnamurthy.

Harmanpreet Kaur was the top scorer of the season for Sydney Thunder in the first season. She smashed 296 runs in 12 innings at a strike rate of 117, and adjudged Thunder’s player of tournament that season. Harmanpreet Kaur had a decent run in the Women’s Cricket Super League in England this year as well. Based on the average she was the second best batter of her team, Lancashire Thunder scoring 164 runs in 7 matches with an average of 32.80. She was a key player in Thunder’s win over Surrey Stars, when her team needed 11 run in the last over to win the match and she calmly closed the match with a four and a six on the 4th and 5th delivery of the 20th over.

The third highest run scorer will be joining her Western Strom captain Heather Knight of England who also plays for Hurricane in the Big Bash League. Smriti Mandhana is in super form this year. She finished the Kia Super League as the highest run getter in England earlier this year. Smriti Mandhana scored 421 runs in nine innings- which is the highest across all reasons of Women’s Cricket League (Kia Super League) and Women’s Big Bash League. Smriti’s strike rate of 174.69 and 21 sixes are all time records in women’s league cricket. Smriti Mandhana’s first stint in the Big Bash League ended with an injury. This time she will hopefully finish it with high numbers.

Both Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana, have shown their class in ICC T20 tournament. Harmanpreet Kaur scored a blistering century and led the team throughout whereas her deputy, Smriti Mandhana had a decent tournament including one half century.

Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana have been powerful batter for T20 cricket overall and hopefully they will be able to prove their worth in this season of Big Bash as well.