India Women's cricket side infested with "alleged discord"

Women's ICC World Twenty20 India 2016:  India V Bangladesh
Women's ICC World Twenty20 India 2016: India V Bangladesh

Disappointing results at home against Australia, followed by the twin humbling to Bangladesh in the T20 Asia Cup is indeed having an impact on the Indian Women's Cricket Team. With the ICC World T20 in the Caribbean less than five months away, reports of "alleged discord" among the team members and the support staff are emerging.

Last week, in a meeting to discuss performances and future plans involving both the limited overs captains of India, Harmanpreet Kaur of T20Is and Mithali Raj of ODIs, Committee of Administrators chief Vinod Rai, member Diana Edulji, women's selection committee chief Hemalata Kala and team manager Trupti Bhattacharya, the coach of the side Tushar Arothe was a notable exclusion.

An exclusion of such a core member of the side from a crucial meeting is bound to suggest some sort of disturbed harmony in the side, as tends to happen whenever a sporting side has to endure a string of torrid results.

This event is in the aftermath of another BCCI meeting on June 13, to assess India's results in the Asia Cup, that congregation involved Arothe, BCCI general manager (cricket operations) Saba Karim, and BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary. Clearly, the segregated nature of discussions is a hint at the aforementioned possibility.

A suggested reason for the fallout is training methods. Since Arothe took charge last year, two compulsory practice sessions of roughly two-and-a-half-hours each in the morning and late afternoon, and an optional afternoon session have been part of the team's training plans with an aim to inculcate all-round skills in the players of the side, special focus being on the tail-enders and lower order players.

This plan was persisted with despite the players of the side coming to a unanimous request to have one single elongated training session to make room for gymming schedules and optional training slots. Another point of concern has been the coach's involvement in questionable selection calls, 17-year-old Jemimah Rodriguez was benched for the entirety of the Asia Cup despite a promising start to her career earlier in the home season.

The team management, leaders of the side and board members will have to ensure to put an end to the rift given the upcoming bilateral away series against Sri Lanka and then the ICC World T20, a tournament Indian women are yet to win. Perhaps, more cohesive discussions will hold key to restoring cooperation in the side.

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Edited by Sankalp Srivastava
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