Former India opener W V Raman has been appointed head coach of the Indian women’s cricket team, the BCCI said in a statement on Thursday. Raman, who was most recently a batting consultant at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru, was selected by an ad-hoc committee comprising Kapil Dev, Anshuman Gaekwad and Shantha Rangaswamy. The panel had recommended three names – former South African batsman Gary Kirsten, former India pacer Venkatesh Prasad and Raman.
The BCCI said in a statement that the committee had put Kirsten, who led the Indian men’s team to victory at the 2011 World Cup, as the frontrunner for the job. However, his ongoing contract with Indian Premier League side Royal Challengers Bangalore made him ineligible.
“Mr Kirsten was unable to take up this assignment due to his ongoing contract with an Indian Premier League franchise, which would have entailed Conflict of Interest as per the BCCI constitution,” said the board. Raman was second in preference ahead of Prasad and was hence selected. PTI quotes a BCCI official as saying that Kirsten was “not very keen to leave the RCB role.”
From his days as a player, Woorkeri Venkat Raman is best remembered as the first Indian to score a century in South Africa. This was during an ODI match during India’s historic 1992-93 tour of the country. He played 11 Tests and 27 ODIs. The arrival of Vinod Kambli practically ended his international career but he remained a mainstay in the Tamil Nadu Ranji team. Since retiring though, Raman has built a reputation of being one of the most qualified coaches in the country. He headed the Tamil Nadu and Bengal Ranji teams and is also known for his stint with the Indian U-19 setup.
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Reports of Raman’s impending appointment had surfaced on Thursday evening. He was spotted exiting the BCCI office in Mumbai at the time and a board official close to the developments had told IndianExpress.com that an announcement confirming his appointment would be made either later in the night or on Friday.
The appointment comes amid divisions within the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) with Diana Edulji and chairman Vinod Rai at odds over the selection process. BCCI treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry said that the entire process does not come on behalf of the board. “An appointment that may be a result of this process can in no manner be called an appointment for and on behalf of BCCI,” Chaudhry was quoted as saying by ANI.