Ramesh Powar re-applies for the post of India Women’s head coach

Ramesh Powar re-applies for the post of India Women's head coach

Ramesh Powar, the former coach of Indian Women’s Cricket Team, whose term as the Head Coach of India team ended on November 30, on Tuesday, after the World T20; has reapplied for the job after getting strong support from India T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur and the vice-captain Smriti Mandhana. 


The former India spinner Ramesh Powar recently confirmed to PTI about his application.

“Yes, I have applied this evening because Smriti (Mandhana), Harmanpreet (Kaur) have supported me and I can’t let them (the girls) down by not applying,” said Powar.

The 40-year-old Ramesh Powar’s stint with the Indian Women’s Team after their shocking loss to England by eight wickets in the semifinals of the World T20 in November. The team management including coach Ramesh Powar, captain Harmanpreet Kaur, vice-captain Smriti Mandhana and the selector Sudha Shah decided to drop the senior most player Mithali Raj for the all-important knock-out game which created a massive controversy.

“I can’t let the girls down, especially Harman, Smriti for showing the support for the hard work we put together for three months,” Powar told ESPNcricinfo.

“Whatever happens next is not in my control. Their backing gives you that much satisfaction that they recognise your hard work, their own hard work, the hard work we put together to qualify [for the World T20 semi-finals] after eight years, winning 14 games in a row, no matter whether it was beating Australia A or beating Australia. I thought about it for a week, discussed it with my friends and family. I felt I should do what’s in my control – to reapply – especially to respect their support and the hard work we put in together in such a short time which took us to the semis,” he further added.

Ramesh Powar was appointed in August after Tushar Arothe’s sudden resignation regarding the differences with the senior players over training methods. Under Powar’s coaching, India lost only 2 matches out of 13 matches including ODIs and T20Is within this three months.

Upon returning, Mithali Raj wrote to the Board about this, accusing Powar and Edulji of trying to destroy her and being biased against her.

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

On the other hand, Powar accused Mithali that she threatens him to retire in the midway into the World T20 when she was not given the opening slot. Moreover, Powar added that he hoped Mithali stops blackmailing and pressurizing coaches & also stops putting her interest first then team’s. He expressed that he always found Mithali aloof and difficult to handle“.

Though Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana have already written to the board, seeking Powar’s extension; while Mithali Raj is against with this. Moreover, CoA Chief Vinod Rai has Rejected Diana Edulji’s request to extend Ramesh Powar’s contract, where Edulji requested to keep Powar as the coach till New Zealand tour in next January.

Also Read: CoA chief Vinod Rai rejects Edulji’s request to extend Ramesh Powar’s contract

Following the controversy, the board decided to invite fresh applications for the post and the application will be open for December 14. Manoj Prabhakar, Herschelle Gibbs, Dimitri Mascarenhas, Owais Shah, Ramesh Powar are among the applicants.

The BCCI has formed a new ad-hoc committee to finalize Indian Women’s Cricket Coach. The new committee is comprised of former India cricketers like Shantha Rangaswamy, Kapil Dev and Anshuman Gaekwad. They will select the new Head Coach for the Indian women’s cricket team; while the Cricket Advisory Committee decided not to interfere. On December 20, the three-member panel are set to take interviews of the fresh applicants at the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai.

CoA chief Vinod Rai rejects Edulji’s request to extend Ramesh Powar’s contract

CoA chief Vinod Rai rejects Edulji’s request to extend Ramesh Powar’s contract

CoA Chairman Vinod Rai has decided to go against his colleague Diana Edulji regarding the selection process of the Indian Women’s Head Coach as she wanted to continue with Ramesh Powar. 


CoA member Diana Edulji wrote to Vinod Rai that Ramesh Powar should continue at least till the New Zealand tour, as T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur and vice-captain Smriti Mandhana supported him. Vinod Rai, however, in his reply made it clear that this wouldn’t happen as the coach selection process is already going on as the BCCI has already invited fresh applicants for the job.

Also Read: Harmanpreet, Mandhana back Powar to continue as a coach

The new application deadline will end on December 14 where Manoj Prabhakar, Herschelle Gibbs, Dimitri Mascarenhas, former coach Ramesh Powar are among the new applicants.

“Diana sent an email to Rai asking for extension of Powar as both Harmanpreet and Mandhana asked for it. She wanted the interview process to be scrapped,” a BCCI official shared to PTI.

“However, Rai replied by saying that scrapping the process is not possible as the advertisement for the job has already been issued,” the BCCI official further added.

The controversy started from the World T20. Team management (Ramesh Powar, Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana and selector Sudha Shah) decided to drop in-form Mithali Raj in the semi-final of World T20 against England, where India lost miserably. Later Mithali Raj wrote to the Board about this, accusing Powar and Edulji of trying to destroy her and being biased against her.

On the other hand, Powar accused Mithali that she threatens him to retire in the midway into the World T20 when she was not given the opening slot. Moreover, Powar added that he hoped Mithali stops blackmailing and pressurizing coaches & also stops putting her interest first then team’s.

Ramesh Powar’s term ended on November 30, after the World T20. Later on, India T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur and her deputy Smriti Mandhana wrote to the board, seeking Powar’s extension as he has changed the mindset of the team.

India will tour to New Zealand on January 24; where they play three ODIs and three T20Is. The BCCI is expected to announce the name of the new coach before the New Zealand tour.

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.

Ramesh Powar to continue as India women’s coach till World T20

Ramesh Powar to continue as India women’s coach till World T20

Ramesh Powar who was appointed as interim coach of the Indian Women’s Team in July has been awarded an extension till 30 November 2018. Due to a time crunch in appointing a new coach, the former India off-spinner will travel with the team to Sri Lanka in September for an ODI and T20 series and the T20 World Cup in West Indies in November.

With the team departing to Sri Lanka on September 5, Powar’s extension was the most feasible move. Especially with lack of clarity regarding the Supreme Court mandated Cricket Advisory Committee’s (CAC) in the process of selection of coaches for men’s and women’s team.

The Mumbai veteran cricketer was given the job after former Head Coach Tushar Arothe resigned from the post after a fallout with some of the regular players in the team. The former Baroda Ranji player left the past twelve months prior to the end of his two-year contract citing “personal reasons” for his resignation in a mail to the board.

Arothe who was part of the support staff during the team’s runners-up campaign at the 2017 World Cup in England, was offered a 2-year extension as Head Coach after BCCI sacked Purnima Rau from the position without direct conversation.

After the appointment of Powar, the BCCI had invited applications for the full-time position. On August 10, BCCI interviewed candidates for the job at its headquarters in Mumbai. A panel comprising Diana Edulji, former India cricketer and member of Committee of Administrators, BCCI CEO Rahul Johri, and general manager (cricket operations) Saba Karim interviewed 20 applicants.

Mamtha Maben, former India Captain confirmed that she was among the Top 6 shortlisted for the job. Ramesh Powar was also shortlisted along with former India left-arm spinner Sunil Joshi, former India and Baroda batsman Atul Bedade, India men’s U-19 team bowling coach Sanath Kumar, and Rajkumar Sharma, who formerly coached Delhi’s junior teams and India captain Virat Kohli in his formative years.

“I haven’t received any official word from the BCCI,” Maben was quoted by ESPNcricinfo. “It’s only been the newspapers where I have been getting the updates from. But I feel if the selection panel chooses Ramesh to travel with the team to Sri Lanka, it only makes sense that he accompanies them to the WT20. There’s not much time at the team’s disposal, so Ramesh continuing from the Sri Lanka assignment to World T20 makes sense because eventually, it’s the results that count.”

Maben was among at least five women who applied for the position. Former India wicketkeeper-batsman Kalpana Venkatachar, former New Zealand batsman Maria Fahey, former India women’s assistant coach Suman Sharma, and Gujarat women’s coach Rituparna Roy were other women who had applied.

The team would assemble for a preparatory camp in Chennai at the end of the month before departing to Sri Lanka. Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana will also join the camp after they return from their KSL stint in England.