Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana back Ramesh Powar to continue as the women’s head coach

The cricketers, Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur stated that another change in the team would adversely affect the team and will pose a question for the team’s future

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The battle of words and accusations between Ramesh Powar and Mithali Raj doesn’t seem to end soon as two senior players from the team have openly come out and have backed Ramesh Powar for getting an extension as head coach.

Earlier, the former Indian off-spinner’s contract as the caretaker coach expired last week after a three-month-long tenure. Now, BCCI has invited applications from eligible candidates for the job on a permanent basis.

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The row between the veteran player and the Women’s team head coach began after Mithali Raj wrote a letter to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) complaining about biased behaviour by head coach Ramesh Powar. Later Powar had replied saying Mithali was aloof and difficult to handle. Powar had also alleged that Raj was indulged in ‘blackmailing and pressurising’ coaches.

However, amidst the allegations, T20 skipper Harmanpreet Kaur and vice-captain Smriti Mandhana have openly come out in Powar’s support, stating that making another change would harm the team’s interest. On the other hand, Kaur claimed that the decision to eliminate Mithali Raj from the semi-final was taken jointly the coach, captain, vice-captain and selector on tour.

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 face of Indian women’s cricket team both technically and strategically. He has inculcated in us the sense of winning,” Kaur wrote in a mail to the Board.

Whereas, Smriti also praised Powar for his work as a coach.

He, along with the support staff, has boosted our confidence as a team which helped us win 14 consecutive T20 matches before semifinals. Ramesh sir has changed the intent of players and given everyone confidence to express their selves on the field to their fullest. His one-to-one connect with each player has led to clarity in roles for all players and made everyone believe that they are match-winner in his short tenure with the team,” Mandhana wrote in her email.

While it is expected that even if Powar applies for the post of head coach, the Board won’t consider it in light of the controversy, it would considerable to see the board’s decision after the comments from two senior players.

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