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Diana Edulji calls women's coach-appointment process "unconstitutional"

 Former Indian batsman W V Raman was chosen over celebrated South African Gary Kirsten for the role of the India's women's cricket team coach.

Diana Edulji calls women's coach-appointment process "unconstitutional"
Image Credits: ANI

Diana Edulji, the former Indian skipper and one of the two members of the Committee of Administrators (CoA), has once again lashed out at the Supreme Court-appointed committee chaiman Vinod Rai and accused him of unconstitutionally facilitating the appointment process of the Indian women's cricket team coach. 

On Thursday, former Indian batsman W V Raman was chosen over celebrated South African Gary Kirsten for the role of the India's women's cricket team coach despite dissention within the administrators over the selection process. 

The ad-hoc selection committee, comprising former captain Kapil Dev, Anshuman Gaekwad and Shantha Rangaswamy, had reportedly recommended three names for the post -- Kirsten, Raman and Venkatesh Prasad. Kirsten was ruled out because he wanted to remain the coach of Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and eventually Raman got the nod for the position. 

In an email sent to CoA chairman Vinod Rai, with whom Edulji seems to have number of differences on the issue, the former women's cricket team captain described the entire coach-appointment process as "sham" and "illegal". 

"The entire process of selecting a qualified Coach for Women's Cricket team is unconstitutional," Edulji was quoted as saying in a letter, which was seen by ESPNcricinfo. 

Raman's appointment was made despite the CoA being divided on the issue, with Edulji asking chairman Vinod Rai to put the selection process on hold and let interim coach Ramesh Powar  to continue at least till the New Zealand tour starting next month. She was also against the formation of ad-hoc committee.

Meanwhile, BCCI treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry too had questioned the process being followed as it had Rai's approval and not Edulji's.

Once again reiterating her disagreement over the selection process, Edulji pointed out that Justice (Retired) R.M Lodha-led panel's reforms were not followed during the decision to appoint Raman. 

"I once again reiterate that we have been assigned the role of implementing the Lodha reforms, which says the Coach of the Indian Team can be only be appointed by the CAC. Your unilateral decision of appointing the ad-hoc committee is not only unconstitutional but also illegal. I do not endorse this sham process of announcing the appointment of the Women's Cricket Coach especially when the CAC had requested for more time and a defined role," she added. 

Earlier, Indian women's team T20I skipper Harmanpreet Kaur and her deputy Smriti Mandhana had urged the CoA and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to allow interim coach Ramesh Powar to continue with the job. However, Rai had expressed disagreement over the same, saying players could not decide coaching staff through votes.

The BCCI eventually had invited fresh applications for the job after Powar's brief stint as interim coach ended last month, in rather controversial circumstances. Powar too appeared for the interview.

Powar's controversial interim tenure ended on November 30 after a bitter fallout with ODI captain and senior player Mithali Raj after the latter was dropped for the semi-final clash against England in the ICC Women's T20 World Cup.

(With PTI inputs)