India women’s team captain Harmanpreet Kaur faced heavy backlash from Mithali Raj’s manager on the team’s decision to leave out the veteran from the playing XI in the semi-final clash of the ICC Women’s World T20 against England on Friday. India crashed out of the tournament after losing the match by 8 wickets. After the match, Raj’s manager Annisha Gupta took to Twitter to criticise the Indian captain, according to a report by ESPNcricinfo.
As per the report, Gupta, in a series of tweets described Kaur as a “manipulative, lying immature, undeserving captain.” “Unfortunately @BCCIWomen believes in politics not sport. After witnessing what @M_Raj03 ‘s experience could do in IndvIre [Mithali Raj scored 51 runs against Ireland] it’s shocking that they went with what pleases @ImHarmanpreet -a manipulative, lying, immature, undeserving captain,” the tweet reportedly stated. In another tweet, Gupta called Harmanpreet a “manipulative, lying, cheat”, according to the report.
Gupta, in a telephonic conversation to ESPNcricinfo, confirmed that the unverified Twitter account from which the tweets were made belonged to her and defended her statements by saying that the criticism came “from the right place.” “I’d like to say that I don’t know what is going on on the inside but, now that the matches are being telecast, we can see who is performing and who is not,” Gupta was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
“And we can see the kind of treatment that Mithali has received despite her brilliant performance and despite showing stability and consistency. The kind of treatment she has received is completely uncalled for and there is something deeper than we need to look at than just the statements that have been coming out. There are statements coming out that they wanted to give younger cricketers a chance but you don’t drop your senior-most, most experienced players in a semi-final against a country like England. It goes beyond giving the youngsters a chance,” she added.
On being questioned if she regrets her tweets, Gupta said, “Maybe I was a little angry but I think it comes from the right place because I don’t stand for unfair treatment. The kind of favouritism that has been shown is very apparent. I think everybody can see the kind of favouritism that is being shown to certain members of the team.”
However the account from which the tweets were made was deleted two hours after she gave her confirmation.
Raj, had earlier scored back-to-back half centuries against Ireland and Pakistan in the tournament but was left out from the dead rubber group game against Australia due to a knee injury. Despite being fit, the 35-year-old was left out of the team from the semifinal match. Harmanpreet later stated that the decision for Mithali’s omission was a combined call by the manager, coach, captains and selector keeping in mind the batting order.