Off The Field

Respect Harmanpreet Kaur’s views as you respected Virat Kohli’s, says Diana Edulji

Written by Vishwas Gupta

If Virat Kohli can send text messages to BCCI CEO Rahul Johri to state his dissatisfaction with Anil Kumble as coach and to ensure Ravi Shastri was considered, why can’t women cricketers like Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana write emails to the board to request that Ramesh Powar continues as coach? That’s one of the contentions of Diana Edulji, a member of the Committee of Administrators, in response to CoA chief Vinod Rai’s observation that Indian men’s team did not send emails to support or oppose a coach.

The issues between Rai and Edulji are many but the main bone of contention is this: Edulji doesn’t see how Rai has the veto power on any issue. Edulji wrote that BCCI officials like Johri and Karim should “desist to act on single approval” of one COA member. “You are hereby instructed to act when both the members have given the instructions or approval.” But minutes after her mail, a press release signed by Rai stated that a new ad-hoc committee comprising Kapil Dev, Anshuman Gaekwad and Shantha Rangaswamy would decide on the new women’s coach on December 20.

“The [men’s] team did not send emails. The [women’s] team must realise that that coaches are not decided on team votes,” Rai had written after Edulji had questioned why the views of Kaur, the captain, and other senior members of the women’s team aren’t heeded when Kohli’s wish was granted in the past. It’s then that Edulji brought up the text messages from Kohli to Rai.

“I see nothing wrong in women cricketers writing emails reg the Coach. They were truthful in expressing their views, unlike Virat who frequently sent sms’s to the CEO on which you acted and there was a change in the coach. There also I had objected and my dissent is recorded when the timelines were extended for some one to apply as he didn’t apply in time. Mr. Kumble, a legend in his own right, was subjected to loss of face and made to look like a villain. He was gracious enough to move on for which I respect him. There also rules were broken and I had raised objections back then,” Edulji writes in her mail.


About the author

Vishwas Gupta