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Mithali should stop blackmailing coaches and putting her interest first over team: Ramesh Powar

ANI  |  New Delhi [India] 

Ramesh Powar, the women's team coach, alleged of ignoring her role and batting for own milestones in the International Council (ICC) World at

In his e-mailed report on India's performance, addressed to the Board of Control for in (BCCI) and operations Saba Karim, Powar called the senior with "minimum inputs in team meetings," adding, "not a single word of appreciation came from her after finishing at the top of the table."

Mithali, in a letter to the BCCI on Tuesday, had accused Powar and (CoA) member of discrimination.

Powar, who took charge as interim coach, replacing in July, in his defence voiced that Mithali "could not understand and adapt to team plan. She ignored her role and batted for her own milestones. Lack of keeping the momentum going which was putting extra pressure on other batters. Worked really hard as a to address her power hitting, batting skills and running between the wickets in almost every session."

"In practice games, she was struggling to score quickly, as wickets were low bounce and slow. The intent was missing. Could not lean and execute shots due to limited ability in skills and fitness," he said.

The plan was "to make most of the power play as the power play was most important phase of the match (considering slow pitches) to score big with hardball and it was a challenge to score against spinners." As a result, "it was conveyed to her logically that she will be batting in the middle order and she agreed too. (before match)," he added.

Explaining the change in the batting line-up, Powar said, "Mithali's lack of intent to score quickly in practice games prompted us to open with (in first league game vs. New Zealand), who always shown intent every time she batted. We used Taniya and Hemlatha in power play vs. which got us 24 runs in 13 balls. It's not always about individual milestones, it's always about team strategies and executions (team first)."

According to Powar, "After the game, we had a practice session where Mithali was showing anger and attitude, which was disappointing."

Explaining the batting order of Mithali to the selectors, Powar said, "I gave the explanation of making most of the power play and if needed Mithali can bat in middle/lower order, on which selector said that she can only open or can't figure in the team. We as team management convinced her that she is a key and we will use her experience as and when needed. A lot of young players look at her as a and dropping her will hamper team environment."

Before match, Powar said he was "shell-shocked" by the information that Mithali was on the verge of retiring from not just the World T20 campaign, but her entire career.

"analyst came to my room with the news that fielding conveyed to him that Mithali is upset about not changing the batting order and not allowing her to open in match. She has packed her bags to leave with the announcement of retirement in the morning. I was shell shocked to understand why? The team had just beaten one of the top teams (New Zealand) and a legend is still complaining about her batting position (which she agreed upon) and threatening to leave. (instead, should be happy with the positive start of campaign of team India)," he said.

"I was saddened and baffled by her attitude. It gave me an impression that for she comes first and then team I called the early in the morning and discussed the issue. I did not convey this to and vice-as I don't want them to lose their focus of most important match, India vs. of the group stages..during breakfast on match day I told and Smriti Mandhana that we will open with Mithali and they agreed. Conveyed Mithali also about her opening the innings against Pakistan."

To prevent any adverse effects on the team, Powar said, "We opened with Mithali Raj due to pressure from travelling selector and Mithali's threatening behavior (retirement) to go back home if not given a chance to open the innings.

Chasing 134, India reached the target in the penultimate over with Mithali finishing with a half-century but Powar said the late finish hurt the side's net run-rate, which tends to be a crucial determining factor in global events.

"After Pakistan match, Mithali asked for a meeting with me through Trupti Bhattacharya, which I obliged. She conveyed that she is not a very good for this format compare to one day format where I convinced her that she is the most and can adapt easily as she had scored a good hundred vs. Sri Lanka, batting in the middle order in ODI series (which reminded me she as captain) did not take the field for first 11 overs due to after batting and we lost the match as all plans were known to her which she did not share with vice-Harmanpreet due to her sour relationship. She agreed to bat in middle order after hearing team plan from me."

Powar then gave her "one more opportunity" in the third match against to "prove her ability" as an opener and "execute the team strategies that is to bat with intent (dominance)." And Mithali hit second fifty in a row to bag successive Player-of-the-Match awards. But the underlined the 25 dots in the 56-ball 51. "That added extra pressure and cost us Smriti (Mandhana), Jemimah's (Rodrigues) wicket and net run-rate."

Powar while talking about Mithali's which she sustained during the third match said, "informed us that she is not available for selection due to and a minor to the knee, which she got recovered in one day (quite strange). As a coach, I asked her to take rest in the hotel so she can get better and recover quickly but she did not listen and came to the ground for match, which was surprising."

When the team arrived in for semi-finals, Powar created two groups for a low-intensity practice session with first group consisting of five players for batting skills specifics and another group for warm up, team game and fielding. Mithali was in the 2nd group but she wanted to come with us in the first group."

"I requested her to come with a 2nd group do warm up and skip the team game and come for the batting skills with practice bowlers as everyone was involved in a team game. (she was supposed to do fielding with the team after batting which she did not). I stayed and watched her bat for 10 mins and went in the ground to check how is a session going inside the stadium. Vikas Pandit was there to supervise her session. I came back with a to watch her bat again. After finishing batting in net, and I asked how she is feeling as it was her first net session after a break. She responded with a nod as if our question does not matter to her."

A day before the semi-final, Powar revealed that the told him that she (Trupthy Bhattacharya) received an abusive and threatening call from (former player) stating that what you were doing with Mithali as she cried whole night and her mother is worried. Nusheen also threatened that you all will face consequences."

"Out of panic, team manager took physiotherapist to her room to check on her. As described by the team manager, Mithali wanted to go back home as she was very upset that coach is not looking after a like her. She threw a lot of tantrums and created chaos," he said.

"Once hearing all this from Mithali, team manager came to me and described the whole episode, we immediately called (General Manager, cricket operations, BCCI) and informed the matter. He told us to sort the matter out amicably. He also told us to concentrate on crucial and important semi-final match," he added.

Powar, who had to speak with few players regarding preparations of all important semifinal match, claimed that he received a message from Mithali that "she does not want to speak with the coach."

"Her irresponsible behaviour took my time away as I was supposed to speak with few players regarding preparations of all important semifinal match, which could not happen. As I needed to prepare team meeting notes, I took a leave."

Powar, whose interim contract ends on November 30, also added that gave him the feedback that Mithali wasn't interested in fielding drills."I hope Mithali Raj stops blackmailing, pressurising coaches and also stops putting her interest first then team 's. I hope she will look at the bigger picture and work towards the betterment of the Indian women's cricket," he concluded Mithali's performance report.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, November 29 2018. 13:05 IST