20yrs of playing for my country,my patriotism become doubtful:Mithali

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New Delhi:India great Mithali Raj has said she is “deeply saddened” and “hurt” by the negative image that is being projected about her by head coach of the women’s cricket team, Ramesh Powar.Mithali, who is in the midst of a storm that is brewing up in the Indian women’s cricket circuit after her controversial snub for the World T20 semi-final earlier this month, has expressed disappointment at her patriotism being questioned and said all that hard work she has put in over the last 20 years feels to be in vain.In the 10-page report written to the BCCI officials on Thursday, the head coach of India Women’s team Powar accused Raj of not playing for the team and chasing after “own milestones” during the recently concluded World T20 tournament.

“Mithali Raj – a senior player in the team. Minimum inputs in team meetings not a single word of appreciation after finishing at the top of the table. Could not understand & adapt to team plan. Ignored her role and batted for own milestones. Lack of keeping the momentum going which was putting extra pressure on other batters,” he wrote.The 35-year-old Mithali was left out of the World T20 semifinal against England that raised quite a few eyebrows after India’s eight-wicket loss. She was dropped despite scoring back-to-back fifties in the group stage of the competition held in the West Indies.The team management cited cricketing logic — it did not want to change a winning combination — behind the move to drop Mithali but former skipper Gavasakar did not agree with that.

In a letter to the BCCI, she wrote, “To put things in perspective, I have always reposed faith in Diana Edulji and have always respected her and her position as a member of the COA. Never did I think she 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.She also narrated a series of instances where she had felt slighted by the coach. “My issues with the coach started immediately as we landed in the West Indies. At first there were small signs that his behaviour towards me was unfair and discriminatory. For instance, walking off if I am sitting anywhere around, watching in the nets when others bat but choosing to walk away when I am batting in nets, if I try to go up to him to talk to start looking into his phone and keep walking. It was embarrassing and very evident to everyone that I was being humiliated. Yet I never lost my cool,” she said.

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