In addition to the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) members, some of the current players too wanted Ramesh Powar to be re-appointed as the head coach of the Indian women’s team. Powar, on Thursday (May 13), was handed over the reins, replacing WV Raman.
After interviewing eight candidates, it is learnt that CAC members Madan Lal and Sulakshana Naik pushed very hard for Ramesh Powar’s case. In another development, a senior BCCI official revealed that some of the players complained about Raman after India lost both the limited-overs home series against South Africa (1-4 in ODIs and 1-2 in T20Is) in March this year.
“There have been reports of a few players complaining to the selectors about Raman after losing to South Africa in the recent home series. But the selectors also need to be held accountable for the teams they select. This trend of players having issues with the coaches has got to be fixed,” he told TOI.
The official was alluding to the fallout between Ramesh Powar and ODI captain Mithali Raj during the 2018 T20 World Cup, which eventually led to the 42-year-old being sacked. While neither of Powar or Raman have managed to deliver an ICC trophy yet, the BCCI official harped on the need to build a settled unit.
“Raman had taken the team to the T20 World Cup final last year. He was forming a strong core pool of players. That’s a good performance. The Indian men’s team has persisted with Ravi Shastri for years despite not winning an ICC trophy. But the men’s team has always looked like winning a trophy. Continuity is important and hope Pawar gets a longer run,” he added in this regard.
During Ramesh Powar’s tenure, the Indian eves made it to the semi-finals of the 2018 showpiece event. Now, with the 50-overs World Cup scheduled to start in March 2022, it’d be intriguing to see how Mithali Raj and Ramesh Powar go about things.
Ramesh Powar held an edge over the four female candidates
Among the seven shortlisted candidates for the head coach position, four were male candidates - including Raman - apart from three female candidates. Ramesh Powar, Raman, Ajay Ratra and Hrishikesh Kanitkar were virtually interviewed on Wednesday, while Mamtha Maben, Devika Vaidya, Hemlatha Kala and Suman Sharma were quizzed the next day.
It is understood that the women didn’t make the cut because of their relative lack of experience in the profession. However, the BCCI official confirmed that the National Cricket Academy (NCA) has started certification courses for women to bridge the cap with their counterparts.
“The NCA has started certification courses for women. It will take a couple of years to have expert women coaches. There is a need to hire female coaches for women’s teams. That will help them relate with the girls at a more personal level,” he stated.
The Indian women’s team is now scheduled to travel to the United Kingdom (UK) and play one Test, three ODIs and T20Is each against the hosts. The tour will start on June 16 with a one-off Test, followed by the 50-overs and 20-overs formats.