A day after it emerged that coach Ramesh Powar had accused her of “throwing tantrums and creating chaos” besides threatening to retire midway through the World T20 after being denied the opening spot in his tournament report to BCCI, Mithali Raj has responded emotionally on Twitter. Mithali said she was “deeply saddened and hurt”, calling it the “darkest day” of her life.
I'm deeply saddened & hurt by the aspersions cast on me. My commitment to the game & 20yrs of playing for my country.The hard work, sweat, in vain.Today, my patriotism doubted, my skill set questioned & all the mud slinging- it's the darkest day of my life. May god give strength— Mithali Raj (@M_Raj03) November 29, 2018
Mithali’s comments come in the wake of Powar’s scathing 10-page report that was revealed by PTI on Wednesday. Powar, who met BCCI CEO Rahul Johri and GM (Cricket Operations) Saba Karim at the Board headquarters in Mumbai, presented his version of the events that led to the breakdown of his equation with the most seasoned player in the Indian outfit. The coach’s report followed an e-mail by Mithali to Johri and Karim, where she alleged that the former India spinner was out to destroy her and humiliated her during the tournament in the West Indies.
Powar's 10-page tour report, it was reported, was almost entirely focussed on Mithali, taking up nearly five pages.
"I hope Mithali stops blackmailing, pressurising coaches and putting her interest first than the team," Powar said while summarising Mithali's performance on the tour.
Powar said the decision to push her down the order was taken after due consultation with her but still led to a furore.
"Before Pakistan match, video analyst Pushkar Sawant came to my room and said that fielding coach Biju George has conveyed to him that Mithali is upset with batting order and packed her bags with announcement of retirement in the morning," Powar wrote in his report.
"I was saddened by her attitude and it gave me an impression that Mithali Raj comes first and then India. She threw a lot of tantrums and created a lot of chaos," he stated.
Mithali's controversial dropping from the semi-final against England, which India lost by eight wickets, triggered a storm and the 35-year-old has said that the axing left her in tears.
Responding to Mithali's charge that he asked her to not even show up at the ground for the league match against Australia, Powar said he merely asked her to rest at the hotel to recover from a niggle.
"She couldn't understand her role and adapt to the team plan and played for her personal milestones," the former Mumbai and India off-spinner wrote.
Powar also wrote that she couldn't field outside the inner circle due to fitness issues and that her attitude affected the team's preparations for the semifinals.
"Her irresponsible behaviour took my time away as I was supposed to speak with few players regarding preparations of all important semifinal match, which could not happen," he alleged.
"It's not always about individual milestones, it's always about team strategies and executions (team first)."
(With PTI Inputs)