Purnima Rau has played 5 Tests and 33 ODIs for India © Getty Images
Purnima Rau has played 5 Tests and 33 ODIs for India © Getty Images

A day after Purnima Rau and Suman Sharma were sacked as head coach and assistant coach respectively of the Indian Women team, Purnima says that she is not surprised by this decision. Purnima was unhappy with the timing of the decision, considering that the Women’s World Cup is just a couple of months away. Purnima feels she knew that her days as head coach were numbered after Diana Edulji was named as one of the members of the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA). Purnima quit the Railways team in 1993-94 after differences between her and Diana crept up. Tushar Arothe, the former Baroda batsman has been named Pournima’s replacement. READ: Rau sacked as Indian Women’s coach; Arothe named replacement

Speaking about her ouster, Purnima said, “The minute Diana was named in the Committee [of Administrators], I knew my days were numbered,” Purnima told Cricbuzz.  “I wasn’t surprised with the decision — I knew this was coming, given my history with her — I am just shocked with the timing of it, with the World Cup so near,” she added. She then attacked the BCCI for not having the decency to have told her directly.  “They [BCCI] didn’t have the decency to inform me directly. When I got to know from someone else, I was shocked and felt insulted. I feel sorry for the people in the management. They cannot face me to tell me this, I guess. “When the team loses, they bring me in. When they win, they take me out,” Purnima added.

Purnima says she did not have any contract in place, but never complained about it. “There was no contract to begin with. I was paid a measly amount for it but it didn’t matter… And I’ve filled in as assistant coach, manager, everything. I was overburdened and there were always so many challenges but I never complained because I wanted this side to win the World Cup. See, if the team does well, I will be the happiest. I am dreaming about that elusive World Cup, where I am there or not there,” she said.

Purnima feels that some of the senior members of the squad wanted a male coach. They were perhaps well acquainted with Arothe, during his earlier spell as assistant coach, which led to his appointment as head coach. She said, “They’ve [team seniors] always wanted a male coach, from 2013 I think; they’ve at least always asked for it. But they don’t see the bigger picture, that the team has won and benefited.” READ: Purnima Rau, Nooshin Al Khadeer, Rajani Venugopal: Your stars, Hyderabad’s champions, my memories

“This break in momentum could cost us, our team, at the World Cup. We’d been winning and we had a good rapport with each other within the side. The board should have taken into consideration that by changing the core, they are cutting the cord and that can’t be good ahead of such an important tournament,” Purnima added.