Mithali Should Have Played, Says Coach After India’s Semi-Final Loss
The exclusion of Mithali Raj from the playing XI team of the ICC Women’s World T20 semi-final against England on Thursday has created a lot of buzz. The Indian women’s team crashed out of the tournament because of an 8-wicket defeat in the match. Mithali’s manager has lashed out at India skipper Harmanpreet Kaur for the decision to rest Mithali for such a crucial game.
Her manager Annisha Gupta wrote 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.”
Later, Annisha told ESPNCricinfo,“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. 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,” she added.
Mithali Raj had been in brilliant form lately — scoring two half centuries and winning two player-of-the-match awards in the two matches in this series
“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,” he said.
Former player Sanjay Manjrekar and several fans also started raising questions on social media:
“It’s not a pitch where you can hit through the line and fetch boundaries. Mithali Raj would have been ideal on this pitch. Wrong move by India to drop Mithali,” Sanjay Manjrekar had tweeted.
“Mithali was told after the warm-up session on the morning of the semifinal that she doesn’t figure in the playing eleven, leaving her disappointed,” said coach R.S.R. Murthy (South Central Railway) to The Hindu.
“I spoke to her last night and she looked mentally and physically geared up for the semifinal and even hinted that she might not open but would play in the middle order,” he said. “I asked her to just enjoy her batting.”
He added, “Apparently, the coach and the captain Harmanpreet Kaur took the call to drop her.”
After the match, Harmanpreet had said that she did not regret dropping Mithali from the team. “Whatever we decided, we decided for the team. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, no regrets. I’m proud of the way my girls played through the tournament. This is a learning curve for us because we are a young team,” Harmanpreet said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
“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,” Annisha asserted.