Mithali Raj, who accused India's women's cricket team coach Ramesh Powar of discrimination, has been advised by former cricketer Madan Lal to improve her game to adjust into the Twenty 20 set up. The former India coach came to the support of Powar, saying the team management has to take some tough decisions in the best interest of the team and players should not take it personally. Mithali had accused Powar along with Committee of Administrators (CoA) member Diana Edulji of bias in a letter to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
In response to the allegations, Powar accused Mithali of being selfish and putting herself first over the team. He also stated that Mithali had threatened to retire midway after being denied the opening slot.
Powar's interim contract with the BCCI ended on November 30. The same day BCCI invited applications for the post of Indian women's coach.
Veteran batter Mithali Raj criticised Powar and the selectors for keeping her out of the playing XI against England in the World T20 semi-finals, which India lost by eight wickets.
Madan Lal said it is better to place dummies instead of coaches who take a stand. He added that constantly shuffling coaches is not in the best interest of teams and this sends a bad signal. Madan Lal felt that having a coach for a longer duration works better for the stability of the team and players.
"If you keep removing coaches, it would be better to keep a dummy, who listens and acts according to the players. Coach is part of the team and takes decisions which should be abided by the team. The coach (Powar) also wanted to win only and the captain (Harmanpreet Kaur) was also part of it. Why was Powar alone targeted? Selectors are also part of the decision. It was unnecessary to remove Powar. Like this, the game won't move ahead," Madan Lal said.
Madan Lal did not seem to be convinced with Mithali Raj's allegations on Powar to keep her out of the team. Citing examples from the men's team, he said: "If tomorrow Ravi Shastri makes someone sit out, will you remove him as well? Things do not work like this. They (coaches) too are under pressure. Performance is kept in mind, you do not make someone sit out randomly. I believe in performance, so the board should analyse."
Speaking on the mudslinging, e-mails to BCCI and emotional rants, Madan Lal said: "No one is bigger than the game. Was there any guarantee that the Indian team would have reached final if Mithali Raj was in the playing XI. This is a team game, not an individual game. I always believe that the captain and the coach have the supreme authority. They had taken the decision after looking at the condition."
"Once we start making the player bigger than the game, then these kinds of controversies arise. It is the call of the coach and captain. Sometimes, I do believe that an experienced player (Mithali Raj) should have played but they (coach and captain) must have taken the decision with prior thinking and analyses. So, sometimes the decision is good, sometimes the decision back fires," he added.
(With ANI Inputs)