After Powar fiasco, Mithali soars like a phoenix from her ashes

posted on 2019-02-02 12:19:42
posted by Mad Hatter


After Powar fiasco, Mithali soars like a phoenix from her ashes


A few weeks ago, the career of India’s one of the finest ever cricketers was thrown into doubt following a public spat between the player and the coach.

 

 

Mithali Raj had been dropped ahead of the semifinal of the World T20 and that immediately led to a public debate about the wisdom of the decision, especially after India lost and bowed out of the tournament. The debate then took the form of a public slugfest and a heated spat, as allegations and counter-allegations flew in thick and fast.

The finger-pointing saga began soon after India's exit as the T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur, in a press conference, stood by the decision to drop Raj. Hours later, Raj's manager Annisha Gupta took to Twitter and wrote: "Unfortunately @BCCIWomen believes in politics not sport. After witnessing what @M_Raj03's experience could do in IndvIre it's shocking that they went with what pleases @ImHarmanpreet -a manipulative, lying, immature, undeserving captain."


In her email to the BCCI, Raj said she was “deflated, depressed and let down” by the treatment meted out to her by the then coach Ramesh Powar. “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 wrote.

Powar hit back with a counter email to the BCCI accusing Raj of being a prima donna, questioning her work ethics and arguing that he had been forced to drop her because of her low scoring rate. "Raj had packed her bags and threatened to announce her retirement in the middle of the tournament," Powar wrote.

 

Both the emails were leaked to the media.

 

Raj, in her reaction to Powar’s leaked email, said it was “the darkest day of my life”.

 

The slugfest continued as Kaur and Mandhana came out publicly in support of Powar and insisted that his contract be extended. However, Powar’s contract was not renewed after the fiasco and the focus shifted back to cricket as the India women were about to face the White Ferns.

 

Now, three games later, things are looking a lot better for Raj as the cricket has helped bury the controversies, at least for now. India have emerged victorious, defeating the Kiwis 2-1. Mithali also became the first woman cricketer, on Friday, to play 200 ODIs. The numbers are in fact staggering for the 36-year-old.

 

In the second ODI, it was Raj’s 111-ball 63 that was instrumental in helping India coast to victory. In the process, she took her average in successful run-chases up to 111.29 in ODIs — a record across men and women cricketers. To put things into perspective, when it comes to the highest averages while chasing in ODIs, MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli are placed after Raj on the list, averaging 103.07 and 96.23, respectively.

 

Just ahead of the New Zealand series, Raj said she had put the controversies behind her. “What has happened has happened, I have moved on. Cricket has taught me to move on whether it's scoring a hundred or getting out on zero you have to be prepared for the next game, you need to tune in for the next day,” she had said.

 

Now, after the series is done and dusted, and Raj has become the first woman cricketer to feature in 200 matches, she said, “200 is just a number for me but it feels nice to come so far.”

“I have seen different stages of (transformation) in women’s cricket across the globe since I made my debut way back in 1999 under IWCC (International Women’s Cricket Council) … When I started, I didn’t think that I will come so far. Initially, my aim was to only wear the India colours, be one of the core members of the team but never did I think that I will continue to play for so long,” she added.

 

From the day Raj made her debut in January 1999 to playing her 200th ODI, her journey has indeed been a long one. The fact that she has been able to stay at the top for two decades and rake up astounding numbers is sheer testimony of her will and ability.

 

Raj would hope that the Powar fiasco was a minor ignominy in her otherwise illustrious career — an incident that she would hope to put behind her as she soars to newer heights. And the New Zealand series is proof that the legend is back on track.

A few weeks ago, the career of India’s one of the finest ever cricketers was thrown into doubt following a public spat between the player and the coach.

 

 

Mithali Raj had been dropped ahead of the semifinal of the World T20 and that immediately led to a public debate about the wisdom of the decision, especially after India lost and bowed out of the tournament. The debate then took the form of a public slugfest and a heated spat, as allegations and counter-allegations flew in thick and fast.

The finger-pointing saga began soon after India’s exit as the T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur, in a press conference, stood by the decision to drop Raj. Hours later, Raj’s manager Annisha Gupta took to Twitter and wrote: “Unfortunately @BCCIWomen believes in politics not sport. After witnessing what @M_Raj03 's experience could do in IndvIre it's shocking that they went with what pleases @ImHarmanpreet -a manipulative, lying, immature, undeserving captain.”

 

In her email to the BCCI, Raj said she was “deflated, depressed and let down” by the treatment meted out to her by the then coach Ramesh Powar. “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 wrote.

Powar hit back with a counter email to the BCCI accusing Raj of being a prima donna, questioning her work ethics and arguing that he had been forced to drop her because of her low scoring rate. "Raj had packed her bags and threatened to announce her retirement in the middle of the tournament," Powar wrote.

 

Both the emails were leaked to the media.

 

Raj, in her reaction to Powar’s leaked email, said it was “the darkest day of my life”.

 

The slugfest continued as Kaur and Mandhana came out publicly in support of Powar and insisted that his contract be extended. However, Powar’s contract was not renewed after the fiasco and the focus shifted back to cricket as the India women were about to face the White Ferns.

 

Now, three games later, things are looking a lot better for Raj as the cricket has helped bury the controversies, at least for now. India have emerged victorious, defeating the Kiwis 2-1. Mithali also became the first woman cricketer, on Friday, to play 200 ODIs. The numbers are in fact staggering for the 36-year-old.

 

In the second ODI, it was Raj’s 111-ball 63 that was instrumental in helping India coast to victory. In the process, she took her average in successful run-chases up to 111.29 in ODIs — a record across men and women cricketers. To put things into perspective, when it comes to the highest averages while chasing in ODIs, MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli are placed after Raj on the list, averaging 103.07 and 96.23, respectively.

 

Just ahead of the New Zealand series, Raj said she had put the controversies behind her. “What has happened has happened, I have moved on. Cricket has taught me to move on whether it's scoring a hundred or getting out on zero you have to be prepared for the next game, you need to tune in for the next day,” she had said.

 

Now, after the series is done and dusted, and Raj has become the first woman cricketer to feature in 200 matches, she said, “200 is just a number for me but it feels nice to come so far.”

“I have seen different stages of (transformation) in women’s cricket across the globe since I made my debut way back in 1999 under IWCC (International Women’s Cricket Council) … When I started, I didn’t think that I will come so far. Initially, my aim was to only wear the India colours, be one of the core members of the team but never did I think that I will continue to play for so long,” she added.

 

From the day Raj made her debut in January 1999 to playing her 200th ODI, her journey has indeed been a long one. The fact that she has been able to stay at the top for two decades and rake up astounding numbers is sheer testimony of her will and ability.

 

Raj would hope that the Powar fiasco was a minor ignominy in her otherwise illustrious career — an incident that she would hope to put behind her as she soars to newer heights. And the New Zealand series is proof that the legend is back on track.




Tags : #Mithali Raj # India # India Women