India Women’s T20I captain, Harmanpreet Kaur, and ODI captain Mithali Raj arranged a face-to-face meeting in order to resolve their differences following the selection scandal that has rocked Indian cricket, according to ESPNcricinfo.
Raj and Kaur met – along with BCCI’s head of the committee of administrators (CoA) Vinod Rai – following the public feud that erupted after Raj was dropped for India’s Women’s World T20 semi-final, but it appears no compromise could be reached between the two Indian captains.
Kaur is reported to have emailed the CoA and the BCCI top brass the day after the meeting, reiterating the management team’s decision to drop Raj (India’s most experienced player) and suggesting that Ramesh Powar – who was the India Women’s coach during the World T20 – be reinstated into the position after his contract expired at the end of November.
Kaur stressed to Raj during the meeting that the decision to exclude her from the World T20 semi was not a personal choice but a collective call.
In the email she sent to the CoA and BCCI on Monday, Kaur confirmed that Powar was not solely responsible for leaving out Raj. She said the decision was reached collectively between herself, Powar, Smriti Mandhana (T20 vice-captain), Sudha Shah (national selector) and team manager Trupti Bhattacharya.
Powar has been at the centre of the selection controversy after he accused Raj of ‘blackmailing and pressurising’ coaches while putting her interests ahead of that of the team, as she allegedly threatened to retire during the World T20 competition if she was not allowed to open the batting.
Kaur has publicly supported Powar, while Raj felt he had wronged her. Rai is believed to have told the players that the CoA would not take sides and instead would go ahead with the recruitment of a new head coach. It is not yet clear whether Powar, who is eligible, will apply.
Raj had earlier proclaimed she had nothing against Kaur ‘except for the fact that her call to support the decision of the coach to leave me out of the eleven was baffling and hurtful’. She also added that as ‘senior players’ any issues between the two should be resolved by the ‘two of us sitting across the table.’
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