‘If You Repetitively Ask the Same Question…’ – Mithali Raj’s Response on Reuniting With Ramesh Powar
India Women’s Test and One-Day International captain Mithali Raj and coach Ramesh Powar jointly called for everyone to move on from their 2018 tussle, saying times have changed. The duo was involved in a spat after the 2018 ICC T20 World Cup, after Mithali was dropped from the XI for the semifinal against England. Mithali had accused Powar, the then coach, of trying to disrupt her career while Powar insisted all decisions were for the benefit of the team.
Three years on, the questions about the episode surface in all interactions. Ahead of the India Women’s team departure to England, the two sat together for a press conference, and it was only natural that the question was asked again.
“Can we move on from that? It’s been three years,” Mithali Raj responded. “You are still stuck three years behind, we are in 2021, we should be looking forward for many more series. If you repetitively keep asking the same question, we need to get you back from the past.”
Ramesh Powar, meanwhile, said: “I would like speculations to stop. We interacted well, otherwise I wouldn’t come back into women’s cricket. Everyone goes up after three years. There is a larger goal, big picture – India Women’s Cricket, BCCI… we have a responsibility.
“This is a great opportunity for me, Mithali and the whole group to take women’s cricket to another level. BCCI is supporting us. I don’t think we are going to go back on these small things, we are professional enough to move on. You all know me. I’ve been with NCA, I’ve been with Rahul Dravid, so you know Rahul’s effect will play in this series.”
India will be playing a Test after seven years, but the team will not be able to practise much as they will be in quarantine in the initial week in England. Powar said they would look at the brighter side.
“It’s not an ideal world right now. We are trying to look at the bright side. The bright side is that we’re playing cricket. Women’s cricket is getting opportunities – Tests, ODIs and T20s, it’s a good long tour of 45 days. We are thankful to BCCI for putting up such a tour, it’s not easy,” he said.
“It’s not physically possible to prepare, mental make up will make a huge difference. In my last assignment, we tried that and it paid dividends. We’ve done that with the Mumbai team as well, we had only six sessions but we reacted positively to the tournament we played.”