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Too Much Being Made of Decision to Leave Mithali Out in Semifinal, Says CoA Member Diana Edulji

Meha Bhardwaj |Cricketnext |November 26, 2018, 7:23 PM IST
Too Much Being Made of Decision to Leave Mithali Out in Semifinal, Says CoA Member Diana Edulji

In another twist to the raging controversy over Mithali Raj’s exclusion from the playing XI for the World T20 semifinal against England last Friday, Committee of Administrators (CoA) member Diana Edulji has denied reports that they have asked for Mithali’s fitness logs from the tournament.

Edulji also confirmed to CricketNext that contrary to reports Mithali, and captain Harmanpreet Kaur, along with coach Ramesh Powar, manager Trupti Bhattacharya and tour selector Sudha Shah will only be meeting BCCI General Manager Saba Karim, who is in charge of women’s cricket, and not the CoA.

“It was a selection matter. There is no need for the CoA to intervene,” Edulji told PTI. “If they want to have a word with us, then that can be looked at. We only step in when it is required like it was when Tushar Arothe (previous coach)."

Edulji also sought to douse the controversy surrounding the decision to leave Mithali out.

"I think too much is being made out of it,” she told PTI. “The management made the decision of not changing a winning combination and that backfired. If India had won the game, I am sure nobody would have questioned their decision.

"We can't be questioning the team eleven. Another example is of Krunal Pandya, who was thrashed in the first T20 but bounced back strongly yesterday. These things happen in the game.

"As I see it. It was just a bad day for India. The batting failed and when England were chasing, the dew made it tougher for the bowlers. The performance was unexpected, especially after the big win against Australia.

"I wish they had a bad game like that earlier in the competition and not in the all-important semifinal. The girls now have a New Zealand tour coming up, they must move on from this loss and work harder on their game."

The decision to exclude Mithali Raj from India’s playing XI led to plenty of criticism from fans and experts. India went on to lose the match when they were bundled out for just 112 in 19.3 overs after choosing to bat first. The absence of a batsman who could anchor the innings was evident, a role that Mithali had played all through the tournament, having made a couple of half centuries.

According to a report in the Times of India, based on the manager’s report that was leaked to the newspaper, the decision to stick with the same XI that emerged victorious against Australia in the team’s final group game, where Mithali didn’t play due to a niggle, was taken in the presence of the national selector Sudha Shah.

“I, as manager, convened the meeting. They (captain, coach and selector) discussed the wicket and the coach expressed that the same winning combination against Australia should play,” read team manager Trupti Bhattacharya’s report. “Harman and Smriti shared the same view and also told the selector, Sudha Shah, that an extra bowler would help the team. Sudha Shah agreed to the XI and did not express anything.”

The story further added that coach Ramesh Powar, like the selector, also supported the decision made by Harmanpreet and didn’t voice any opposition to the move.

The controversy gained further momentum when a day after the match, Mithali’s manager Annisha Gupta hit out at Harmanpreet on Twitter.

"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," she said in a since-deleted tweet.

She further went on to call Harmanpreet a "manipulative, lying, cheat" in another tweet that was later deleted, but she did later confirm to ESPNCricinfo that the account was indeed hers.

“I'd like to say that I don't know what is going on on the inside but, now that the matches are being telecast, we can see who is performing and who is not. And we can see the kind of treatment that Mithali has received despite her brilliant performance and despite showing stability and consistency,” she said.

“The kind of treatment she has received is completely uncalled for and there is something deeper than we need to look at than just the statements that have been coming out.

"There are statements coming out that they wanted to give younger cricketers a chance but you don't drop your senior-most, most experienced players in a semi-final against a country like England. It goes beyond giving the youngsters a chance."

Harmanpreet had defended Raj’s exclusion from the team after the semi-final in her post-match comments.

"Whatever we decided, we decided for the team,” she said. “Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, no regrets."

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9 7 2 0 14 +0.86
9 6 3 0 12 +1.15
9 5 3 1 11 +0.17
9 5 3 1 11 -0.43
9 3 4 2 8 -0.91
9 3 5 1 7 -0.03
9 3 5 1 7 -0.41
9 2 6 1 5 -0.22
9 0 9 0 0 -1.32

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6420 123
2 India 6807 122
3 New Zealand 4763 113
4 Australia 5470 112
5 South Africa 5193 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
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