WV Raman writes to Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid, mentions ‘star culture’ in women’s cricket team

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WV Raman, who was replaced by Ramesh Powar as the head coach of Indian women’s cricket team on Thursday, has written to BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and National Cricket Academy (NCA) head Rahul Dravid, alleging that there is a “prima donna culture” in the national team and it needs to change.

According to PTI, the former India international has also offered to present a roadmap for women’s cricket in the country, if asked.

Madan Lal-led Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC), did not retain WV Raman as the head coach of the senior women’s team and picked former India off-spinner Ramesh Powar for the position. Raman, who had taken over the job after the sacking of Ramesh Powar, guided India to the final of Women’s T20 World Cup in 2020.

“As far as I know, Raman has said that he has always ‘believed in team being placed above everybody else, and insisted that no individual can really be a prima donna’,” a source privy to Raman’s mail told PTI.

The 55-year-old’s letter to the two former captains is sure to ruffle a few feathers given that it has always been the coaches who have either stepped aside or sacked following rifts with players. Ramesh Powar, the current coach, was sacked in 2018 from the same position following a fallout with ODI captain Mithali Raj.

The 38-year-old had accused Powar of bias after the Harmanpreet Kaur-led T20 team dropped the veteran batter for the all-important World Cup semifinal against England. She had also alleged that Powar “was out to destroy and humiliate” her. Powar had hit back asserting that Mithali “threw a lot of tantrums and created chaos in the team”.

While Raman’s letter didn’t name anyone, it is understood that he has spoken extensively about the star culture that prevails in the team, which he said is probably doing more harm than good.

“Raman has asked Dada (Ganguly) that if a past accomplished performer feels constrained by this culture, then he (Ganguly) as a former India captain, should take a call on this matter, whether the coach is asking for too much,” the source added.

Raman, it is learnt, is also dismayed by allegations that he was not proactive as a coach. He has recalled how he oversaw three training sessions (for Trailblazers, Velocity and Supernovas) between 1 pm to 9 pm in humid UAE conditions during the Women’s T20 Challenge in 2020.

“In case the president and secretary want to hear his opinion on allegations about his work ethic, he can explain.”

The letter has been copied to Dravid because Raman sincerely believes that he can contribute towards building a roadmap for Indian women’s cricket.

“When it comes to building a coaching manual or a training program for cricketers, it is the NCA which takes charge.

“So if Raman has any inputs with regards to training modules for upcoming women cricketers, the best person certainly is NCA head Rahul Dravid,” the source stated.

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