While she claims that Diana used her influence to keep Mithali from playing in the T20 world cup match, she alleges that coach Ramesh ignored her.

Diana Edulji coach Ramesh Powar biased against me Cricketer Mithali Raj tells BCCICourtesy: PTI
news Controversy Tuesday, November 27, 2018 - 19:19

Just as the air begins to clear around the controversy surrounding the decision to keep cricketer Mithali Raj out of the World T20 semi finals, the player has now written a letter to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Mithali has alleged that she’s been subject to much bias at the hands of Committee of Administrators (CoA) member Diana Edulji and her former coach, Ramesh Powar.

“My issue is with the coach Ramesh Powar and in all stories circulating in the press, I find that issue getting diluted. My issues with the coach started immediately as we landed in the West Indies. At first there were small signs that his behaviour towards me was unfair and discriminatory but I did not bother much about it,” she writes.

She claimed that Ramesh first began to discriminate against her during the T20 series in the West Indies, adding that Diana Edulji had used her position as a CoA member to omit Mithali from the T20 World Cup semifinals match against England in Antigua last week.

“To put things in perspective, I have always reposed faith in Diana Edulji and have always respected her and her position as a member of the CoA, Never did I think she will use her position against me, more after hearing what all I had to go through in the Caribbean as I had spoken to her about it. Her brazen support in the press with regard to the decision of my benching in the semi final of the T20 World Cup has left me deeply distressed, more because she knows the real facts having spoken to me. Thereafter her statement saying 'selection is not the CoA's headache' is like suggesting there is no system of checks and balances and anyone can do anything and get away because they have the backing of people in power,” she’d stated in the letter.

She further added in the letter that the decision to keep her out of the World Cup T20 semi-finals match had left her confused and hurt.

What was the controversy surrounding the World Cup T20 Semifinals match?

On November 23, India and England were set to battle it out at the World Cup T20 semifinals match in Antigua, West Indies. A decision was made by superior officials to bench Mithali Raj, though she was in good form, before the semi-final match. This resolve was met with approval from the team captain, Harmanpreet Kaur, and was allegedly egged on by Diana Edulji.

After India lost the match to England by eight wickets, several people outraged over the fact that Mithali had not been permitted to play during the game, claiming that the outcome would have been different if she had been allowed to play.

Harmanpreet stood by the decision and even stated to media at a post-match presentation ceremony that, “Whatever we decided, we decided for the team,” following the defeat. However, Mithali’s manager Annisha Gupta slammed the decision to omit the cricketer from the match. “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 had tweeted (and later deleted).

Annisha also said to ESPNcricinfo, that she “could not stand the unfair treatment meted out to India's highest scorer in the shortest format with 2,283 T20I runs,” also adding that, “Maybe I was a little angry but I think it comes from the right place because I don't stand for unfair treatment. The kind of favouritism that has been shown is very apparent. I think everybody can see the kind of favouritism that is being shown to certain members of the team.”

Following the drama that panned out, the BCCI had reportedly invited the two women to its office to sort out the issue on Monday after they returned from the West Indies match on Sunday.

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