New Delhi: On Thursday, WV Raman was sacked as the coach of India’s women’s team as BCCI’s Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) recommended former India off-spinner Ramesh Powar to be his replacement. The announcement was soon made public as BCCI tweeted about the appointment of Pawar who was dismissed two years back due to a public fallout with senior player Mithali Raj. With Pawar’s reappointment, the plot gets murkier and if reports are to be believed Raman was ousted from the top job due to a knock-on effect of a disagreement between the former India left-hander and Neetu David who is the chairperson of BCCI women’s selection committee & former left-arm spinner.

Sulakshana Naik Angle

According to a source close to the development, it is learnt that Sulakshana Naik, a member of the CAC had already made up his mind regarding selecting the coach and people in the know-how claimed that she was biased while conducting the interviews. “One surprising question that Raman was asked was how can he claim credit for women’s team reaching T20 final as this is a team that was prepared by Ramesh Powar,” the source said.

The line of questioning, according to the official, was clear that the platform was set for Powar to be reinstated.

“Even if we presume that Ramesh and Mithali Raj had problems back then and it wasn’t good enough ground to remove Ramesh, does two wrongs make a right,” he questioned.

“If you go by the argument Sulakshana gave during Raman’s 45-minute presentation, by that logic, Ramesh is inheriting a team that Raman prepared,” he countered.

Raman’s Mail To Ganguly And Dravid

According to a source, WV Raman has written to BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, alleging that there is a “prima donna culture” in the national team and it needs to change.

In the mail that has also been marked to National Cricket Academy head Rahul Dravid, Raman has also offered to present a roadmap for women’s cricket in the country, if asked.

Raman’s major achievements included a runners-up finish for the side at the women’s T20 World Cup last year.

“As far as I know, Raman has said that he has always ‘believed in team being placed above everybody else, and insisted that no individual can really be a prima donna’,” a source privy to Raman’s mail told PTI.

The stylish former left-hander’s crisp letter to the two former captains is sure to ruffle a few feathers given that it has always been the coaches who have either stepped aside or sacked following fallouts with players, most notably ODI captain Raj.

While Raman’s letter didn’t name anyone, it is understood that he has spoken extensively about the star culture that prevails in the team, which he said is probably doing more harm than good.

While repeated calls to Raman went unanswered, a source in the know of things did admit that a mail to both Ganguly and Dravid has gone out.

It is learnt that Raman has written about certain individuals who need to place the team above self.

“Raman has asked Dada (Ganguly) that if a past accomplished performer feels constrained by this culture, then he (Ganguly) as a former India captain, should take a call on this matter, whether the coach is asking for too much,” the source added.

Raman, it is learnt, is dismayed by allegations that he is not proactive as a coach. He has recalled how he oversaw three training sessions (for Trailblazers, Velocity and Supernovas) between 1 pm to 9 pm in humid UAE conditions during the last T20 challenge.

“In case the president and secretary want to hear his opinion on allegations about his work ethic, he can explain.”

The letter has been copied to Dravid because Raman sincerely believes that he can contribute towards building a roadmap for Indian women’s cricket.

“When it comes to building a coaching manual or a training program for cricketers, it is the NCA which takes charge.

“So if Raman has any inputs with regards to training modules for upcoming women cricketers, the best person certainly is NCA head Rahul Dravid,” the source said.

Later, adding fuel to fire, Raman tweeted,”So, to wind up this @BCCIWomen episode, I would like to inform my friends in the media that I have no inclination to talk about women’s cricket as my tenure has ended.. So, I solicit your cooperation, friends.”

Counterpoints against Raman

While the majority believe that the stylish southpaw of yesteryears has been hard done by, there are a few critics who feel that there were some loose ends from his side too.

“Some girls complained that he will at times switch himself off during training sessions. Also, some girls felt under-appreciated. Someone like Rajeshwari Gayakwad was not even once praised despite she being the best bowler during the series,” a member from the anti-Raman camp said.

Another allegation against Raman is that he unwittingly gave gloves woman Nuzhat Parween a debut cap without knowing that she has already played both ODIs and T20Is for India.

“How come a coach forgot that one of his players have already played. To be fair to Neetu, was Raman also doing his homework.”

(With PTI Inputs)