With the three-month contract of Ramesh Powar as the coach of India Women expiring on Friday, the BCCI has invited fresh applications for the post.
The interested candidates should have either played international cricket or should have done a Level ‘C’ coaching course at the National Cricket Academy or a similar certification from other organisations of similar reputation and should have played 50 first-class matches. Those who do not fill these two criterias should have the experience of coaching an international team for a period of at least one season or a Twenty20 franchise for a minimum of two seasons.
Only those below 60 years of age are eligible to apply. Applicants have to send in their details to firstname.lastname@example.org by December 14, and the shortlisted candidates will be called for an interview to BCCI headquarters in Mumbai on December 20. The selected personnel will be given a two-year contract.
Apart from having a thorough strategic understanding of the game, the applicant should have “proven ability to manage and interact with people from different backgrounds and culture.”
The applicant’s key role will be to work with a specialised support staff to build a strong national women’s team, make the coaching unit stronger , “develop position papers on all women cricket related matters” and “contribute to the development and ongoing review of the BCCI’s overall strategy for women’s cricket”.
It is widely believed that Powar, even if he applies, won’t be chosen after his differences with Mithali Raj, who was not included in the playing XI for the World Twenty20 semifinal against England in Antigua, became public through a series of leaked emails.
While Mithali accused Powar of ill-treatment, the coach said that the senior-most player needs to put team over self. If Powar does not continue then India could have its fourth coach in a space of 19 months after Purnima Rau was sacked before the 2017 World Cup and Tushar Arothe resigned very early into his two-year contract after the T20 Asia Cup loss to Bangladesh.
Powar first took charge of the team for a short camp following the Asia Cup campaign at the NCA in Bangalore. The immediate reviews about his coaching style were good, and then he was given a three-month contract ahead of others like Ajay Ratra, Mamatha Maben, Maria Lankeshwar, Sanath Kumar and Sunil Joshi to maintain continuity ahead of a multi-nation tournament.
Powar warmed up to the job by helping Mithali-led India Blue to the T20 Challenger Trophy title before officially starting work with the national team.
His first major assignment was the tour of Sri Lanka where India prevailed 2-1 in the One-Day International series and 4-0 in the five-match T20 International series. There were a lot of positives to gain from that series, with Jemimah Rodrigues, who was unsure of her place only a few months back, Taniya Bhatia, Radha Yadav and Arundhati Reddy among other youngsters making an impression. He chose to go with a bowling attack consisting of four spinners in the T20Is, which worked well and was also implemented in the World T20.
After returning from Sri Lanka, Powar helped India A, which was made up of the World T20 bound squad, to whitewash Australia A 3-0 in the T20 series.
Under his guidance, India won all their league matches – beating New Zealand, Pakistan, Ireland and Australia – to top their group in the World T20.
Things, however, went sour after a Mithalil-less India lost the semifinal by eight wickets. It blew into a major controversy, breaking their relationship completely.
A lot of players have credited Powar for the work he had done in helping them play a fearless brand of cricket. Under him, India lost two out of 13 matches across the 50-over and 20-over formats.
India’s next assignment is the tour of New Zealand starting from January 24. They will play three ODIs as a part of Women’s Championship and three T20Is