x

Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 10 December 2018

India superstar Mithali Raj 'deflated' after World T20 semi-final exclusion

Highest run scorer in women's international game writes letter of complaint and meets key members in BCCI to vent her anger

Mithali Raj, the highest run scorer in the women's international game, was left out of the India squad for semi-final loss to England, triggering a high-profile row with team staff. Reuters
Mithali Raj, the highest run scorer in the women's international game, was left out of the India squad for semi-final loss to England, triggering a high-profile row with team staff. Reuters

Mithali Raj has accused India's cricket leaders of bias for dropping her for last Friday's World Twenty20 semi-final, which her team lost to England.

Raj, the highest run scorer in the women's international game and still India's captain in the one-day international format, wrote a letter of complaint and met key members in the Board of Control for Indian Cricket (BCCI) on Monday to vent her anger.

"For the first time in a 20-year-long career, I felt deflated, depressed and let down," the 35 year old said in the letter seen by AFP.

Raj questioned whether "my services to my country are of any value to a few people in power who are out to destroy me and break my confidence".

Raj blamed former captain Diana Edulji, now a member of the BCCI's influential Committee of Administrators (CoA), and national coach Ramesh Powar for dropping her from the team that lost by eight wickets to England.

"The brazen support of a CoA member is a clear sign of bias and also that a stance has already been taken against me," said Raj, who has played 197 ODIs, 85 T20 matches and 10 Tests for India since making her 50-overs debut against Ireland in 1999.

______________

Latest episode of our cricket podcast

______________

Raj hit two straight half-centuries at the World T20 in the West Indies before missing India's last league game against Australia with a knee injury.

She was declared fit on the eve of the semi-final but the selectors stuck with the team that beat Australia. T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur said the selectors had stuck to a "winning combination".

"I would also like to point out that I have nothing against the T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur except for the fact that her call to support the decision of the coach to leave me out of the XI was baffling and hurtful," Raj wrote.

"I wanted to win the World Cup for my country and it hurts me because we lost a golden opportunity."

Raj's latest tweet came before semi-final

"Never did I think she [Edulji] will use her position against me, more after hearing what all I had to go through in the Caribbean as I had spoken to her about it."

The BCCI did not immediately comment on Raj's tirade.

Ashleigh Gardner scored an unbeaten 33 as Australia beat England by eight wickets to win the title on Saturday.

The Southern Stars easily chased down England's total of 105 all out, polishing off the runs with 29 balls to spare in only 15.1 overs at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound.

The victory was their fourth World T20 title and comes at the end of a tumultuous year in which the men's Test team was rocked by a ball-tampering scandal that led to year-long suspensions for captain Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner.

______________

Read more:

Plans under way for women's Indian Premier League, reveal cricket officials

Ellyse Perry's record score puts Australia in command of Ashes cricket Test

Suzie Bates expects women's cricket to keep going from strength to strength