New Delhi: Former India opener WV Raman has been appointed as the next coach of the Indian women’s team, it was announced on Thursday (December 20). Raman was among three recommendations made by the ad-hoc committee of Kapil Dev, Anshuman Gaekwad and Shantha Rangaswamy - the others being Gary Kirsten and Venkatesh Prasad - after interviewing 9 shortlisted candidates on Thursday.
53-year old Raman played 11 Tests and 27 ODIs for India over his international career from 1988 to 1997. He made 448 Test runs at an average of just under 25 and 614 ODI runs at an average of just under 24. He had an impressive First-class career, making 7939 runs at 45.62 and 2892 List A runs in 87 games at 35.26.
Raman is currently a batting consultant at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru. He has also worked alongside Rahul Dravid with the Indian Under-19 squad just recently. Raman has also served as a batting consultant for IPL franchises Kings XI Punjab & Kolkata Knight Riders.
In fact, it was his batting expertise that is believed to have won Raman the nod. According to BCCI, Kirsten wasn’t considered for the role although he was the first choice, as was not prepared to give up his position as head coach of IPL Franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). The choice was then between Prasad and Raman and the latter was preferred because of his expertise as a batting coach, an area the team “needs improvement in.”
Among those not considered for the role was Ramesh Powar, whose interim tenure ended controversially on November 30. Powar appeared in person for the interview in Mumbai, but his candidature was rejected by the panel. Although Powar fell out with senior player Mithali Raj during the Women’s World T20 and the two shot off angry mails about each other’s conduct to the BCCI, he had the whole-hearted support of T20 captain and Vice-Captain Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana respectively.
Among the others who appeared in front of the panel were former India all-rounder Manoj Prabhakar, Herschelle Gibbs, Dimitri Mascarenhas, Brad Hogg and women’s coach Kalpana Venkatachar.
The tenure of the incoming coach is two years though it remains to be seen if Raman will be offered the hefty pay packet of Rs 3 to 4 crores for the job, which according to BCCI insiders was dependent on the profile and experience of the coach.