Hyderabad: Ousted coach Purnima Rau, who was unceremoniously sacked last year, said the Indian women team’s successive losses against the new Asia Cup T20 champions Bangladesh was on the cards.
“These two losses against Bangladesh were coming. In fact, last year we should have won the World Cup and then we lost to Australia in the home series very badly, the same team which we defeated Down Under. This was an impending doom as things have started to deteriorate for the last one year. So who should take the responsibility? When I was doing well, I was unceremoniously removed as coach without giving any reasons even as I built a good team,” said an angry Rau.
Rau blamed Diana Edulji, the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrator of BCCI. “She is responsible for India’s slide. She has messed up women’s cricket. The old guard of BCCI would have done better. She is running the women’s cricket on her whims and fancies. Shanta Rangaswamy would have been ideal choice as she was very focused in the game but Diana has vested interest. In fact, I was very happy when she came but it proved otherwise.”
The former Indian captain pointed out that she had rebuilt the team in 2014 when for the second time she took charge of the team. “The team had lost to Sri Lanka when they had scored 235. But after I took over, we won eight series, including Asia Cup T20, the first-ever series win in Australia and qualified for the one-day World Cup. When the team did not do well, I was given the charge. I made the team a winning unit. It hurts when you are removed and the BCCI did not have the courtesy to inform me before bringing in a new coach without my knowledge.”
The former Hyderabad cricketer is puzzled why a male coach was appointed for the women’s team. “Even when I was removed, they could have replaced with another women’s coach. Anju Jain made history by guiding Bangladesh to historic title. Why should BCCI appoint a male coach in Tushar Arothe? I believe some senior members wanted male coach and I hoped they would do well. But the results are showing otherwise. They lost the World Cup which was within our grasp as we lost by nine runs to England in the final. The BCCI would have been more sensible had they waited for the World Cup before replacing me with a new coach.”
According to Rau, the Indians have disappointed since last one year. “The batting has been inconsistent and so is the bowling. In fact, as a coach I had given a lot of emphasis on fielding. In the series in Australia, our fielding reached a new high. Some fabulous catches were taken in the deep while we had effective run out with good throws from the deep. The Australians were scared to take two runs and now we see the fielding going from bad to worse. When I was the coach, we were only four-member support staff. But now we have a head coach, assistant fielding coach, masseur, physio, trainer, logistical manager and an administrative manager.”