India women’s coach: Panel formed, but Edulji wants Powar

India women’s coach: Panel formed, but Edulji wants Powar
  • 1

MUMBAI: After posting a fresh advertisement on their website, inviting applications once again for the role of India’s national women’s coach, the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) were in the process of forming an ad-hoc committee to pick the right candidate when yet another major stumbling block has stalled the move.
TOI has learnt that CoA chairman Vinod Rai was about to send out an official email to all three selected members of the ad-hoc panel – former India captain Kapil Dev, former opener Anshuman Gaekwad and former women’s Test cricketer Shantha Rangaswamy – on Monday when his own colleague in the CoA, Diana Edulji, put her foot down saying “Ramesh Powar should be continued with as coach of the national team.”
Edulji’s reasoning is learnt to be on the lines that if the men’s team captain Virat Kohli can have a say in having Ravi Shastri as the coach of the Indian team, why can’t the women’s team captain Harmanpreet Kaur have her choice retained? It is further learnt that Edulji refused to identify with the logic conveyed to her that “it is not Virat Kohli who chose Shastri as coach but the three-member Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) consisting Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman.”
Similarly, Rai expects the panel consisting Dev, Gaekwad and Rangaswamy to help pick the best available candidate as coach of the women’s team. “What’s wrong with it? Are we questioning Kapil Dev’s understanding of the game or Gaekwad or Rangaswamy?” said sources.
The earlier suggested panel had the name of Shubhangi Kulkarni alongside Dev and Gaekwad. However, as TOI reported on Monday, a senior BCCI official requested that Kulkarni with Rangaswamy, to which everybody – including Edulji – agreed.
In the process, multiple applicants who have sent in their CVs for the said role are now clueless once again if the process – as listed out by the CoA – is going to go ahead as indicated. It should be mentioned here that the CoA had called for applications for the role of the national coach in August too and then ignored all those applications after an interview process only to ‘arbitrarily’ appoint a coach on an interim basis.
“Please remember that Ramesh (Powar) was only an interim coach. There were 24 candidates who had applied for the role and none of them know what happened to that entire process. Was it a sham? Then why call for CVs then and why call for CVs now? Is this a joke? What if Gary Kirsten has shown interest in applying this time,” cricketers refusing to be identified said.
Edulji is learnt to have indicated that CoA is not legally eligible to form the (ad-hoc) committee, a point that BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary has conveyed in his email to CoA, which was later leaked to the media. “On what grounds is the committee being formed,” Choudhary has asked in his email.
Calls and text messages to both CoA members remained unanswered.
Those who understand their cricket say “selecting a coach is imperative and there’s no legal objection to appointing a capable panel to pick the right candidate. There are individuals who only want to stall the process and are pointing out non-cricketing matters to ensure the committee is not appointed”.