Forced to resign after senior women cricketers gave a negative feedback about him, a hurt Tushar Arothe says that “letting players decide the fate of coaches” will only set a bad precedent.
The 51-year-old Arothe, who guided India women cricket team to World Cup final, was removed after the BCCI received complaints from senior players, especially Twenty20 skipper Harmanpreet Kaur, about his training methods.
“If students start deciding on the syllabus and course curriculum when there is a teacher, I don’t think it’s a great thing. Similarly, if you start removing coaches merely on the basis of allegations from the players, then you are setting a bad precedent,” Arothe told PTI in a no-holds barred interview today.
Arothe also said that this frequent chopping of coaches whenever the players are unhappy will only reflect poorly on them.
“There was someone before me (Purnima Rau), who was removed as players didn’t want her. Now they don’t like my style. Tomorrow, a new person will come and they might find him/her to be unsuitable. So if only one side is having a problem what does it tell you,” Arothe said.
The former Baroda skipper is at his wits end to understand what went wrong between July last year to now. That from being a successful coach, who had taken the side to World Cup final and twin series win in South Africa, he became an overnight villain after India’s Asia Cup T20 debacle in Kuala Lumpur.
His training methods were questioned and there were a plethora of allegations about trying to “remote control” the team.
Arothe wanted to set the record straight and said that each and every allegation about him is “false” and he had made his point to the Committee of Administrators, when he was summoned for a meeting.
“The main allegation was about two training sessions per day. Well, the girls didn’t have a problem till Asia Cup. This process started before last year’s World Cup. And to make it clear, those who batted or bowled during the morning session were rested during the afternoon or evening session. You want to become No 1 side and you don’t want to work hard. It doesn’t happen like that,” said Arothe, who had earlier worked as a fielding coach between 2009-2012.
“Post World Cup euphoria, when the girls came for a camp in September, I found most of them complacent and still basking in glory. I told them ‘Please remember, you people have lost and not won the World Cup. All the accolades are fine but we need to work harder’.”
If that was one of the issues, what has hurt Arothe the most is the allegations of trying to control playing XI and strategies during the Asia Cup.
“The playing XI would be decided at the team meeting and manager (Trupti Bhattacharya) and one selector (Shashi Gupta) were also a part of decision making process. The team list used to be minuted by the manager. This is complete falsehood from the part of those players, who have complained to the BCCI,” Arothe said.
“I heard an absurd complaint that I tried to control the proceedings during the match from the sidelines. That is as ridiculous as it can get. If a coach shouts instructions during the match, he would be penalised by the match referee as per ICC code of conduct,” Arothe said.
During his meeting with BCCI brass, he was told that a senior player had said that he tried to force the bowlers into bowling negative line.
“I was asked ‘why did you instruct the girls to bowl negative line?’ I said :’We have recording of the match. Please analyse the video and tell me which over did you think that a bowler bowled negative line (leg-stump line). When these allegations were being levelled, they should have at least thought that in T20s, it’s difficult to bowl negative line unlike longer formats,” Arothe explained.
The final issue was about the scheduling of the camps and Arothe claimed that it was the senior players including T20 captain Harmanpreet, who had decided on an entire training schedule from March till October when they were scheduled to travel to West Indies.
“Suddenly after Asia Cup, the camp was cancelled and no one had the courtesy to inform me. Every minute details of the schedule was done in consultation with the players and then suddenly I hear complaints about schedule.
“They want to do gym work for strength. But if I tell them that hit a few balls to gauge your strength, is it wrong? Most of our batters have a strike-rate of less than 100 in T20s and if you are not willing to work hard, then you will have problems,” said the veteran of 114 first-class matches.
Arothe, however, had good words to say about senior pros Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami.
“Mithali and Jhulan have been very co-operative and open to discussions at team meetings. And about Harman, I have no hard feelings. She is a fantastic cricketer. But I am surprised because when I asked who has complained, I was told “Kaptaan ne bola (the captain said). But I wish them all the best for their future,” Arothe concluded.