Mithali Raj on Thursday reacted to coach Ramesh Powar's accusation that the veteran cricketer threatened to pull out of Women's World T20 and announce retirement if she wasn't allowed to open.
Powar in her 10-page report, to BCCI CEO Rahul Johri and General Manager of Cricket Operations Saba Karim, had also accused the 35-year-old of “blackmailing, pressurising coaches”.
Reacting to the report, Mithali said she is deeply saddened and hurt. The India ODI skipper expressed her disappointment on Twitter.
In her tweet, she wrote: "I'm deeply saddened & hurt by the aspersions cast on me. My commitment to the game & 20yrs of playing for my country.The hard work, sweat, in vain.
Today, my patriotism doubted, my skill set questioned & all the mud slinging- it's the darkest day of my life. May god give strength."
I'm deeply saddened & hurt by the aspersions cast on me. My commitment to the game & 20yrs of playing for my country.The hard work, sweat, in vain.
Today, my patriotism doubted, my skill set questioned & all the mud slinging- it's the darkest day of my life. May god give strength
— Mithali Raj (@M_Raj03) November 29, 2018
Mithali's reaction comes after Powar's letter to BCCI, in which he also accused the batswoman of playing for personal milestones.
"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 milestone," Powar wrote.
"Before Pakistan match video analyst Mr Pushkar Sawant came to my room with the news that fielding coach Mr Biju George conveyed to him that Mithali is upset about not changing the batting order & not allowing her to open in Pakistan match. She has packed her bags to leave with announcement of retirement in the morning. I was shell shocked to understand why? Team had just beaten one of the top teams (New Zealand) and Mithali Raj a legend is still complaining about her batting position (which she agreed upon) & threatening to leave. (instead, should be happy with the positive start of World Cup campaign of Team India)."
"I was sadden and baffled by her attitude. It gave me a impression that for Mithali Raj she comes first and then team India," Powar added.
Earlier, Mithali had written to BCCI slamming Powar for humiliating her.
“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 but I did not bother much about it. But instead of saying any words of encouragement it appeared he was out there to prove a point and from there on his behaviour changed dramatically towards me and really caused a lot of stress in the middle of one of the most important tournaments for us," Mithali wrote.
"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 also accused BCCI Committee of Administrators (CoA) member Diana Edulji of bias. Mithali had said that Edulji used her position against her and made her feel vulnerable.