Nothing personal against Raman, clarifies Anirudh

The head coach’s appointment ought to have been done by the Cricket Advisory Committee

By Lokendra Pratap Sahi in Calcutta
  • Published 22.12.18, 3:38 AM
  • Updated 22.12.18, 9:45 AM
  • 2 mins read
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Anirudh Chaudhry. The Telegraph picture

Anirudh Chaudhry, treasurer of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, has clarified that there was “nothing personal” against Woorkeri Raman, the just-appointed head coach of the women’s team.

“My strong objection (put on record via an email to the men and woman who matter in the Board) has been to the process followed in appointing Ramesh Powar’s successor and there’s absolutely nothing personal against Raman. In fact, I spoke to him this morning and conveyed my congratulations,” Anirudh told The Telegraph on Friday.

Anirudh continued: “Raman is an asset to the Board and, if an interim arrangement was to be put in place, he would have been the logical choice assuming that Powar was to be kept away at all costs...

“Logical because Raman handles the India A and U-19 teams when Rahul Dravid isn’t available and is very much part of the system as batting consultant at the National Cricket Academy.”

Raman is a former India opener and played 11 Tests and 27 ODIs.

Supreme Court-appointed Administrator Diana Edulji and Anirudh were the ones openly critical of the manner in which chief Administrator Vinod Rai, Board CEO Rahul Johri and GM Syed Saba Karim constituted an ad hoc ‘selection’ committee comprising Kapil Dev, Aunshuman Gaekwad and Shanta Rangaswamy to choose Powar’s successor.

The head coach’s appointment ought to have been done by the Cricket Advisory Committee. However, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman cited lack of adequate notice (and continued silence on the boundaries of their role) to stay away from what became such a controversial process.

Powar applied, for a second innings, but didn’t figure in the top three shortlisted by Kapil and his colleagues.

Harmanpreet Kaur, the T20I captain, and vice-captain Smriti Mandhana had stuck their neck out for Powar. Diana too wanted continuity, but Rai (as usual) disregarded her point of view.

Of course, ODI captain Mithali Raj would surely be having that on-top-of-the-world feeling. After all, she’d made damning allegations against Powar. He won’t be near the dressing room now.

Given the bad blood among the women cricketers, Raman would clearly have to tread cautiously.

World Cup-winning coach Gary Kirsten, Raman and Venkatesh Prasad featured in the top three. Gary, however, declined to choose the India women’s job over coaching the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).

Ashish Nehra is the other RCB coach.

Many are actually wondering why the no-dual-roles bit wasn’t explained to Kirsten before being invited for the interview.

An awkward situation would have been averted. Moreover, Kapil and his colleagues wouldn’t have wasted time.

Kirsten did the interview on Skype.

This Reporter has had access to Kirsten’s brief email to Saba Karim where he expressed regrets. It read: “I thank you for considering me for the position. I’m not in a position to accept as I understand I can’t do two jobs. I’m currently under contract with RCB.”

Professionals such as Saba Karim are expected to act professionally. At all times.