diana edulji

Committee of Administrators member Diana Edulji has called the process of appointment of the women’s cricket team coach as unconstitutional and illegal.

ALSO READ: Former opener WV Raman appointed coach of Indian women’s cricket team

Edulji, in a letter to CoA member Vinod Rai, pointed out that CoA members have been assigned the role to implement Lodha panel reforms and unilaterally taking the decision to appoint an ad-hoc committee for the appointment of the coach by Rai is unconstitutional and illegal.

“The entire process of selecting a qualified coach for women’s cricket team is unconstitutional. I reiterate that we have been assigned the role of implementing the Lodha reforms, which says the coach of the Indian team can only be appointed by the CAC. Your unilateral decision of appointing the ad-hoc committee is not only unconstitutional but also illegal,” Edulji wrote in a letter to Rai, as reported by the Times of India.

Earlier, BCCI treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry had also warned Rai in a letter  about the legal and financial repercussions of the process that has ‘circumvented’ one member of the CoA.

Former India opener WV Raman was on Thursday preferred over celebrated South African Gary Kirsten for the position of India’s women’s cricket coach despite dissension among the administrators over the selection process.

The 53-year-old Raman is currently a batting consultant at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru. “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 Indian Premier League franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore,” said a BCCI official, as reported by PTI.

The selection committee comprised former captain Kapil DevAnshuman Gaekwadand Shantha Rangaswamy.

The panel recommended three names — Kirsten, Raman and Venkatesh Prasad in order of preference – to the Board, a reliable source said. Eventually, the BCCI picked Raman for the job.

The appointment was made despite the Committee of Administrators (COA) being divided on the issue with Diana Edulji asking chairman Vinod Rai to put the selection process on hold. BCCI treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry too questioned the process being followed as it had Rai’s approval and not Edulji’s.

ALSO READ: Ramesh Powar concedes to having “strained relationship” with Mithali Raj

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.

The BCCI invited fresh applications for the job after Ramesh Powar‘s brief stint as interim coach ended last month, in rather controversial circumstances. Powar too appeared for the interview.

ALSO READ: Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana back Ramesh Powar; women’s team split on coach

The Supreme Court-appointed COA has been divided over the coach selection process ever since fresh applications were invited.

While Edulji wanted Powar to continue at least till the New Zealand tour starting next month, Rai instructed the BCCI top brass to invite fresh applications.

Powar’s controversial interim tenure ended on November 30 after a bitter fallout with ODI captain and senior player Mithali Raj over selection issues.

Powar decided to re-apply after T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur and her deputy Smriti Mandhana came out in strong support of the former India spinner.