Senior Indian woman cricketer and ODI captain Mithali Raj on Tuesday lashed out at the Committee of Administrators’ member Diana Edulji and national team coach Ramesh Powar, saying a “Few people in power are out to destroy me.”
Breaking her silence on the omission from the World T20 semi-final against England that raised quite a few eyebrows after India’s eight-wicket loss, Mithali alleged that Edulji, who had backed her axing, “used her position against me.” The 35-year-old was dropped despite scoring back-to-back fifties in the group stage of the competition held in the West Indies.
“For the first time in a 20-year-long career, I felt deflated, depressed and let down. I am forced to think if my services to my country are of any value to a few people in power who are out to destroy me and break my confidence,” she wrote in a letter to BCCI CEO Rahul Johri and Cricket Operations GM Saba Karim. “I would also like to point out that I have nothing against the T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur except for the fact that her call to support the decision of the coach to leave me out of the eleven was baffling and hurtful. I wanted to win the World Cup for my country and it hurts me because we lost a golden opportunity.”
She slammed Edulji, a former India captain, for defending the team’s decision to drop her. “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 semifinal of the T20 World Cup has left me deeply distressed, more because she knows the real facts having spoken to me.”
On Powar, she narrated a series of instances where she felt slighted by the coach. “For instance, walking off if I am sitting anywhere around, watching in the nets when others bat but choosing to walk away when I am batting in nets, if I try to go up to him to talk to start looking into his phone and keep walking. “It was embarrassing and very evident to everyone that I was being humiliated. Yet I never lost my cool,” she said....