Former India women’s cricketer and Committee of Administrators (CoA) member Diana Edulji on Monday came out in defence of the decision to leave out Mithali Raj for the ICC women’s World T20 semi-final against England, saying that the decision of the management cannot be put under the scanner.
Raj was controversially left out of the playing XI for the semi-final against England where India were outrightly defeated by eight wickets.
“I think too much is being made out of it. The management (captain Harmanpreet Kaur, coach Ramesh Powar, vice-captain Smriti Mandhana and selector Sudha Shah) 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,” said Edulji.
Citing the men’s team’s six-wicket win over Australia in the series decider in Sydney, the former Indian captain added, “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.”
Raj sat out of the group match against Australia but was available for selection against England. In consecutive matches against Pakistan and Ireland in the group stages, Raj notched up 50+ scores (51 and 56) respectively.
Indian skipper Harmanpreet Kaur explained the move as one that was made keeping in mind the interests of the team. She had stated, “whatever we decided, we decided for the team.”
But Kaur was slammed by Raj’s manager Annisha Gupta who called her a ‘manipulative cheat’. Edulji nonetheless opined that such comments were unnecessary. “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 semi-final. The girls now have a New Zealand tour coming up, they must move on from this loss and work harder on their game,” she said.
She also revealed that there has been no meeting that has been fixed between the CoA and Kaur and Raj. Added Edulji, “It was a selection matter. There is no need for the CoA to intervene. 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 stepped down.”
Image credit- DNA India