Ramesh Powar’s appointment as the head coach of the Indian National Women’s Cricket Team on Thursday the 13th of May has sparked controversy all over the media. Powar, who coached the team back in 2018 has replaced WV Raman to take the position, yet again.
During his tenure in 2018, he was appointed as an interim coach, followed by an extension in his contract till the T20 World Cup of 2018. He was dismissed from the role after a disagreement with Mithali Raj. India lost the semi-finals of the world cup, and what was even more shocking than the loss was the exclusion of Raj from the playing 11. That’s where the clash actually began.
After the loss, Raj had expressed that she felt “deflated, depressed and let down” by coach Powar who then counter-argued that the senior batter had “threatened to retire” in the middle of the tournament if she weren’t given the opening slot. After the spat, he was dropped as the coach of the team. It is said that skipper Harmanpreet Kaur and her deputy Smriti Mandhana had written a letter to the BCCI urging them to not let coach Powar leave.
Since then, WV Raman had been coaching the girls. Under his mentorship, the girls reached the finals of the T20 World Cup of 2020, thereby creating history. Though his contract expired last year in October, he was asked to continue with the team extending his job till the South Africa Tour of India 2021.
The Cricket Advisory Committee unanimously selected Powar as the Head Coach. Madan Lal, one of the three members of the committee said that out of the 35 applications that they had received, he was the most suitable candidate.
Assuring that there won’t be any issues between him and the legendary player Mithali Raj, Lal said- “All of us in the committee felt Ramesh Powar was the best candidate and it was a unanimous choice. As far as him working together with Mithali Raj is concerned, there should not be any problem. Mithali’s job as a captain is to focus on her role and she should work to take the team forward.”
Former India Captain Diana Eduljee, also India’s first WODI skipper and a former member of BCCI’s committee of administrators said- “If they want India to do well, both will have to work together and play to win and see that Indian women’s cricket remains on the forefront. I wish Ramesh the best for the future.”
Powar’s first consignment as the head coach would be the India tour of England that is scheduled to begin from 16th June in Bristol. The tour includes a one-off test match, followed by a three-match ODI and T20I series. Team India women will fly to Australia in the month of September for their next tour.
After playing the Aussies, the women in blue will be welcoming the West Indies women in India during November for a limited-over series. And to start off their new year, Indian women will tour New Zealand for a Tri-Series, just before the Women’s World Cup 2022, and lastly, they’ll be seen paying at the Commonwealth Games 2022 at Birmingham.
I’m a Senior Masters student pursuing Journalism and Mass Communication. An all time Cricket enthusiast. I could never play the game but always loved watching it, and now writing about it!