Mithali Raj's exclusion from India's squad to face England in the World T20 semi-final courted huge controversy among the cricketing circles. Furthermore, the reason for India's loss was pinned on skipper Harmanpreet Kaur who seems to have played a part in Mithali Raj's exclusion from the squad.
In the wake of this controversy, CoA member Diana Edulji has come out in support of the team management’s controversial call to drop Mithali Raj, saying the decision cannot be questioned.
“I think too much is being made out of it. The management (captain Harmanpreet Kaur, coach Ramesh Powar, vice-captain Smriti Mandhana and selector Sudha Shah) made the decision of not changing a winning combination and that backfired," Edulji said.
"If India had won the game, I am sure nobody would have questioned their decision. We can’t be questioning the team eleven. Another example is of Krunal Pandya, who was thrashed in the first T20 but bounced back strongly yesterday (Sunday). These things happen in the game,” she added.
Harmanpreet Kaur had earlier said that she had “no regrets” over Mithali's omission as the decision was taken keeping team’s interests in mind. Kaur, however, drew flak from Mithali's agent, Anisha Gupta, who in a tweet that was later deleted, had called the Indian skipper “cheat, liar and undeserving”. Edulji said Gupta’s comments were uncalled for.
“As I see it, it was just a bad day for India. The batting failed and when England were chasing, the dew made it tougher for the bowlers. The performance was unexpected, especially after the big win against Australia.
“I wish they had a bad game like that earlier in the competition and not in the all-important semifinal. The girls now have a New Zealand tour coming up, they must move on from this loss and work harder on their game,” she said.
There were reports doing the rounds that the Committee of Administrators could possibly summon Indian women's team skipper Harmanpreet Kaur and Mithali Raj, following their controversy. However, Edulji also clarified that the CoA had not planned a meeting with Harmanpreet and Mithali yet.
“It was a selection matter. There is no need for the CoA to intervene. If they want to have a word with us, then that can be looked at. We only step in when it is required — like it was when Tushar Arothe stepped down,” she pointed out.