The debate over Mithali Raj’s exclusion fails to slow down as the war of words has further escalated after Raj Tweeted about the “Darkest Day of my life” after Ramesh Powar had accused the veteran cricketer of putting her interests before the team’s.
“I’m deeply saddened & hurt by the aspersions cast on me. My commitment to the game & 20yrs of playing for my country.The hard work, sweat, in vain. Today, my patriotism doubted, my skill set questioned & all the mud slinging- it’s the darkest day of my life. May God give strength.” read Mithali’s tweet posted today.
I'm deeply saddened & hurt by the aspersions cast on me. My commitment to the game & 20yrs of playing for my country.The hard work, sweat, in vain.
Today, my patriotism doubted, my skill set questioned & all the mud slinging- it's the darkest day of my life. May god give strength
— Mithali Raj (@M_Raj03) November 29, 2018
Her post comes a day after Ramesh Powar met BCCI CEO Rahul Johri and GM Saba Karim at the in Mumbai on Wednesday to submit his 10-page report. “I hope Mithali stops blackmailing, pressurising coaches and putting her interest first than the team,” Powar had said to sum up Mithali’s performance on the tour.
Powar also said the decision to push her down the order was taken after Raj’s consultation. “Before Pakistan match, video analyst Pushkar Sawant came to my room and said that fielding coach Biju George has conveyed to him that Mithali is upset with the batting order and packed her bags with announcement of retirement in the morning,” Powar had written in his report.
“I was saddened by her attitude and it gave me an impression that Mithali Raj comes first and then India. She threw a lot of tantrums and created a lot of chaos,” he stated.
When asked about Mithali’s absence even from the ground for the group match against Australia, Powar said he had merely asked her to rest at the hotel to recover from a niggle.
“She couldn’t understand her role and adapt to the team plan and played for her personal milestones,” the former Indian off-spinner wrote.
Sunil Gavaskar: “Feels Sorry for Mithali”
Recently, Legendary Indian batsman Sunil Gavaskar had also come out in support in Raj’s support, saying that he feels “sorry” for India’s ODI captain Mithali Raj after she was excluded from India’s starting XI against England in the semi-finals of the 2018 ICC Women’s World T20.
However, the brave decision failed to pay dividends as – India’s record run-scorer in T20Is – Harmanpreet Kaur’s side fell for an agonizing eight-wicket defeat, exiting the tournament in the process after having topped the Group B. Moreover, they had comfortably beaten Australia, who went on to win the tournament.
The Indian batting line-up clearly struggled against the England bowlers and capitulated from 89/2 to 112 all out. Raj is India’s highest T20 run scorer among both men’s and women’s cricket teams with 2283 runs. Although she had missed the last group match against Australia with a knee injury, she was fit for the semi-finals.
In an interview with India Today, Gavaskar empathised with the former captain’s situation.
“I feel sorry for Mithali. She has served Indian cricket for 20 years. She scored runs. she won Player of the Match in both matches.”
“She was injured for one game but fit for the next game. Just convert this situation into the men’s game. If you had a Virat Kohli who was injured for one game and is then fit for the knockout, will you leave him out?”, Gavaskar added.
“You have to pick your best player for the knockouts. You needed the experience and expertise of Mithali Raj.”
Gavaskar also added that he was not satisfied with the reasons that were provided for Raj’s omission.
“They said they wanted to stick with the same team, I don’t think that’s a good enough excuse. You can’t drop someone like Mithali Raj.”
Bold call by India to leave out Mithali Raj. Welcome to the Ramesh Powar era. No place for sentiments.
— Shashank Kishore (@captainshanky) November 22, 2018
#MithaliRaj 's letter to BCCI has left everyone in shock! Absolutely angry and upset with the treatment Mithali Raj was given by the coach #rameshpowar What are your thoughts on this? pic.twitter.com/DxS5Fbh25F
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) November 27, 2018
If India can go in without Mithali Raj, this must be twice as good a batting side as any in the world!!! What is the story there?
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) November 23, 2018
So Mithali Raj writes an email (why is everyone calling it 'letter'; we don't do that anymore) to the BCCI, rather than venting to the press. That email is them leaked to the press.
I mean we all want women's cricket to get the same treatment as the men, but not like this.
— Snehal Pradhan (@SnehalPradhan) November 27, 2018
BREAKING: Mithali Raj Accuses CoA Member Diana Edulji Of Bias. Says She Was Humiliated By Coach Ramesh Powar In Her Exclusion From Semifinals Of #WT20.
— Sir Jadeja (@SirJadeja) November 27, 2018
For the first time in a 20 year long career, I felt deflated, depressed and let down. I am forced to think if my services to my country are of any value to a few people in power who are out to destroy me and break my confidence: Mithali Raj in a letter to BCCI
— ANI (@ANI) November 27, 2018
"Like Mithali Raj, I Too Was Dropped At My Peak After Captaining India"- Sourav Ganguly pic.twitter.com/9K799BmqJU
— Sir Jadeja (@SirJadeja) November 25, 2018
This woman @M_Raj03 deserves better!
We as fans of cricket should treat her better and people in power too!
— Parth Savla (@pyarasaparth) November 29, 2018