Mithali Raj India’s all-time leading run-scorer in T20Is. @ Getty Images
Mithali Raj India’s all-time leading run-scorer in T20Is. @ Getty Images

The decision to bench Mithali Raj for India’s ICC Women’s World T20 semi-final against England on Friday seemed to have backfired when the Harmanpreet Kaur-led side failed to avenge their World Cup loss and went down by eight wickets.

Kaur however defended her tactics and said that she has “no regrets” as it was decision taken keeping team’s interests in mind. “It’s not about not selecting Mithali, it’s about keeping a winning combination,” she said at the toss.

The news of Raj’s omission did not go down well with her manager Annisha Gupta, who lashed out at Kaur and the Indian think tank 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,” Gupta’s tweet read, soon after India were knocked out of the Women’s World T20.

In another tweet, she called Kaur a “manipulative, lying, cheat”.

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“I’d like to say that I don’t know what is going on the inside but now that the matches are being telecast, we can see who is performing and who is not,” Gupta told ESPNCricinfo on Friday.

“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.

“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.”

ALSO READ: One loss doesn’t decide whether we’re good or bad – Harmanpreet Kaur

Quizzed if she regretted what she said about the team on Twitter, she said: “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.”

Mithali, the veteran of 85 ODIs which fetched her 2283 runs at 37.42 with 17 fifties, scored 56 and 51 in India’s wins over Pakistan Women and Ireland Women before she was rested for the last league match against Australia Women, which India won by 48 runs to top their group. She is also India’s all-time leading run-scorer in T20Is.

India had lost to England in the final of the Asia Cup T20 tournament earlier this year as well.