WV Raman, the former India batsman, has pipped Gary Kirsten for the post of the India women’s cricket team coach. A BCCI source told PTI that Raman, who is currently a batting consultant at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru, got the post despite dissent from members of the panel appointed to select the next coach. "Kirsten was the top choice for the BCCI ad-hoc selection committee but Raman got the job as the South African was not keen on giving up his plum job with IPL franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore," a BCCI official said. Raman, who played 11 Tests and 27 ODIs, is now one of the most qualified coaches in the country. He has coached big Ranji Trophy teams like Tamil Nadu and Bengal, and has also had a stint with the India U-19 team. From his cricketing days, Raman is best remembered for being the first Indian to score a century in South Africa during the 1992-93 tour.
Ramesh Powar, whose tenure as coach was not renewed following India’s controversial loss in the semi-final of the ICC Women’s World T20 against England, was interviewed but reportedly not shortlisted. Following the defeat, differences emerged from the Indian dressing room that there was a face-off between Powar and the team’s star player Mithali Raj. Powar termed Mithali ‘aloof’ and ‘difficult to handle’ while Mithali lashed out at Powar and Committee of Administrators member Diana Edulji. Powar's controversial interim tenure ended on November 30 but he decided to apply after T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur and her deputy Smriti Mandhana came out in strong support of the former India spinner.
The Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA), comprising Chairman Vinod Rai and former India captain Diana Edulji, have been divided over the coach selection process. However, BCCI acting treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry and Edulji launched a joint attack on Rai. With the Supreme Court's next hearing scheduled for January 17, the treasurer said it would have been appropriate to conduct the interviews after the hearing to avoid running into legal tangles.
"Would it not be appropriate to wait till the 17th of January, ie; the next date of hearing before the SC and keep the present matter of coach selection in abeyance till then and have either (Ramesh) Powar continue or have someone else take charge till then?" Chaudhry wrote in his letter. "It would avoid unnecessary legal issues and unwanted controversy.
An ad-hoc selection committee, comprising former captain Kapil Dev, Anshuman Gaekwad and Shantha Rangaswamy, has recommended the names to the Board. Chaudhry said the BCCI cannot approve an appointment in the current situation.