Following the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) request for interested candidates to submit their applications for the post of head coach of the Indian women's cricket team, T20I skipper Harmanpreet Kaur and deputy Smriti Mandhana have written to the board, requesting them to let Ramesh Powar continue as coach. They also made it clear that Powar alone wasn't behind ODI skipper Mithali Raj's omission from playing XI in the semi-final of the just concluded World T20 in the West Indies.
In her letter, Harmanpreet wrote, “I am writing to bring it under your notice that how tremendously our team has gone under positive changes in the past few months and has set a benchmark in the world top teams. Our defeat in the semi-finals was very disheartening and it brings us all to feel more miserable to see how the controversies has stained our image and questioned the entire cricket fraternity. Sir Ramesh Powar not only improved us as players but did motivate us to set targets and challenge our own limits. He has changed the faced of Indian women’s cricket team both technically and strategically. He has inculcated in us the sense of winning.”
She explained that the decision to drop Mithali was “entirely based on the cricketing logics and observations from the past. Keeping in mind the need of the hour, me, Smriti, selector Sudha Shah and the coach together in the presence of our manager felt that we should go ahead with the winning combination.” T20 Deputy Smriti echoed the sentiments and wrote, “All the meetings that were held with respect to the playing XI for all the matches came to a unanimous decision which was taken by captain, vice-captain, coach and selector in the presence of our team manager (Trupti Bhattacharya). Since the introduction of Powar, he along with the support staff has boosted our confidence as a team which has helped us win 14 consecutive T20 matches. He changed the intent of the players and gave everyone confidence.”
After returning to India, a furious Mithali had written a scathing letter to BCCI CEO Rahul Johri and GM Cricket Operations Saba Karim, saying a few people in power were trying to destroy her career and that Diana Edulji, part of the CoA, broke her trust. She also added how Powar had time and again humiliated her during the World T20 in the West Indies. Powar was appointed in August after Tushar Arothe quit following differences with the senior players over training methods.