Ramesh Powar has re-applied for the role of India Women head coach, saying, “I can’t let the girls down”.
Powar was interim coach of the side leading up to the ICC Women’s World T20 2018, and helped India reach their first semi-final at the tournament in eight years.
However, the BCCI opted not to extend his contract – there was a clause for a one-year extension – past 30 November, and has since constituted a three-member ad-hoc panel to interview applicants.
Powar too has thrown his hat into the ring, and cited the support he has within the team – Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana, the captain and vice-captain of the T20I side, wrote a letter to the BCCI asking he be retained as coach.
“I can't let the girls down, especially Harman, Smriti for showing the support for the hard work we put together for three months," Powar told ESPNcricinfo. "Whatever happens next is not in my control.
“(But) their backing gives you that much satisfaction that they recognise your hard work, their own hard work, the hard work we put together to qualify (for the World T20 semi-finals) after eight years, winning 14 games in a row, no matter whether it was beating Australia A or beating Australia.
“I thought about it for a week, discussed it with my friends and family. I felt I should do what's in my control – to reapply – especially to respect their support and the hard work we put in together in such a short time which took us to the semis.”
Under Powar, India were an expressive and fearless unit, and won 14 T20I matches on the trot. On the eve of their semi-final clash against England, captain Kaur credited Powar for his influence.
“We have better plans and we can think bigger,” she had said. “The self-belief [is different]. I can give credit to Ramesh, because from the time he joined our team, our mindset and approach has totally changed.”
The ad-hoc committee comprises Kapil Dev, the former India men’s captain, Anshuman Gaekwad, former coach and selector, and former women’s team captain and coach Shantha Rangaswamy.
The interviews will be conducted on 20 December at the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai. South Africa's Herschelle Gibbs, England's Owais Shah and India's Manoj Prabhakar are others who have applied for the role.
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