Mithali Raj
Mithali Raj

Ramesh Powar, Diana Edulji discriminated against me: Mithali Raj

ANI | Updated: Nov 27, 2018 18:29 IST

New Delhi [India], Nov 27 (ANI): Indian women's ODI cricket team skipper Mithali Raj, in a letter to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), has accused coach Ramesh Powar and Committee of Administrators (CoA) member Diana Edulji of "discriminatory" treatment.
Speaking out against her omission from the Indian team for their semi-final clash against England, which they lost by eight wickets, in the recently concluded Women's World T20, the 35-year-old cricketer said that the same left her "baffled" as she had scored back to back fifties in the games before the semi-final and was adjudged 'Player of the Match' on both the occasions.
Criticising Edulji for brazenly supporting her omission from the semi-final game, Raj said that it "is a clear sign of bias." "For the first time in a 20 year long career, I felt deflated, depressed and let down. I am forced to think if my services to my country are of any value to a few people in power who are out to destroy me and break my confidence," she added in the letter.
"To put things in perspective, I have always reposed faith in Diana Edulji and have always respected her and her position as a member of the COA. Never did I think she will use her position against me, more after hearing what all I had to go through in the Caribbean as I had spoken to her about it," she said.
"Her brazen support in the press with regard to the decision of my benching in the semi-final of the T20 World Cup has left me deeply distressed, more because she knows the real facts having spoken to me. Thereafter her statement saying 'selection is not the COA's headache' is like suggesting there is no system of checks and balances and anyone can do anything and get away because they have the backing of people in power," Raj wrote in the letter.
"For the record, I scored back to back fifties in the games before the semi-final, was adjudged player of the match on both occasions, to leave me out in the semi-final and go with only three performing batters was a decision that left me baffled as much as it left the whole world. I have always adhered to protocol and haven't said a word in the press regarding anything that happened in the West Indies believing that the BCCI is there and in the end 'my truth ' will have an ear there and my matter will be handled justly," she said.
"But the brazen support of a COA member is a clear sign of bias and also that a stance has already been taken against me. By saying 'I don't support someone' and then going all out to support my benching in the press is prejudice of the clearest sort," she further added in the letter. Right-hand batter accused Indian coach Ramesh Powar of partial treatment towards her, adding that she was "humiliated" by him.
"My issues with the coach started immediately as we landed in the West Indies. At first, there were small signs that his behaviour towards me was unfair and discriminatory but I did not bother much about it. For instance, walking off if I am sitting anywhere around, watching in the nets when others bat but choosing to walk away when I am batting in nets if I try to go up to him to talk to start looking into his phone and keep walking. It was embarrassing and very evident to everyone that I was being humiliated," she stated.
"To him I didn't exist in the team. If I was around he would immediately move away from the scene, if I looked to wish him he would deliberately start looking in other direction. He continued to behave badly," she added.
Clarifying her stand on Indian T20I captain Harmanpreet Kaur, the top-order player stated that she has nothing against her "except for the fact that her call to support the decision of the coach to leave me out of the eleven was baffling and hurtful."
"At this juncture, I would also like to point out that I have nothing against the T/20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur except for the fact that her call to support the decision of the coach to leave me out of the eleven was baffling and hurtful. I wanted to win the world cup for my country and it hurts me because we lost a golden opportunity," Raj said.
"But I am of the opinion that Harman and I are senior players and our issues, if any, should be sorted out by the two of us by sitting across the table. As India's 50 over captain, I value Harman as one of our best players and will always want to ensure that the two of us perform our best for India," she added.
Demanding justice from the Indian board, Raj said that all the incidents have left her "utterly dejected and depressed."
"In the light of the above, as the captain of India's ODI team who has given her best for the country, do I have any hope left to be given justice. With Diana turning against me publicly and with the coach's unjust behaviour, I feel utterly dejected and depressed. As I was told not to go to the media I write this e-mail to you as the last resort. Please advise against the next course of action," Raj concluded. (ANI)

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