WV Raman appointed new head coach of Indian national women’s cricket team

Former India opener Woorkeri Venkat Raman was on December 20, 2018 appointed as the new Head coach of the Indian women's national cricket team. The announcement was made by the Board of Control for Cricket in India.

The 53-year-old will take over the role from Ramesh Powar, whose contract was not renewed after the controversies and fall-out with senior women's cricket team player Mithali Raj. Raman’s first assignment in his new post would be the tour of New Zealand, which starts on January 24, 2019. He has been brought on with a two-year contract.

Key Highlights

WV Raman was among one of the three candidates shortlisted for the role by an ad-hoc panel to select the coach.

The panel comprised veteran cricketers Kapil Dev, Anshuman Gaekwad and Shanta Rangaswamy.

Besides Raman, the list included the names of former India coach Gary Kirsten and Venkatesh Prasad.

The committee had listed their order of preference as Kirsten, WV Raman and Venkatesh Prasad and the shortlisted names were then sent to the Committee of Administrators and the BCCI.

Gary Kirsten first choice!

Gary Kirsten, who led the Indian men’s side to the World Cup triumph in 2011, was the favourite to get the job.

In fact, according to reports, Kirsten was the unanimous first choice of the ad-hoc panel, which found his presentation during the interview as most impressive.

However, to the dismay of many, Kirsten was denied the opportunity to take up the role because of a conflict of interest.

Kirsten is currently the head coach of the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL, which was the main bone of contention to his selection.

Conflict of Interest

In 2017, the BCCI had made it clear that those associated with the board's teams would not be allowed to coach IPL teams.

This change in rule saw Rahul Dravid leaving his job at Delhi Daredevils and taking over the post of head coach of India A and U-19 on a regular basis.

Besides Dravid, many others also had to leave their jobs at IPL including Ravi Shastri, who being the head coach of Indian national cricket team, isn’t allowed to do commentary due to conflict of interest.

However, since Kirsten was keen on keeping his job as the head coach of the Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore, the other shortlisted contestant WV Raman landed the job.

About WV Raman

Venkat Raman is a former Indian cricketer. His first-class career spanned from 1982 to 1999, where he represented Tamil Nadu, mainly as a left-handed batsman and a part-time left-arm spinner.

Raman made his Test debut in his hometown Chennai against West Indies in 1987–88, top-scoring in the second innings with 83 and taking a wicket in his first over itself.

In total, Raman played 11 Tests and 27 ODIs. However, he was relatively unsuccessful in ODIs on the international stage. His only international century, 113, was against South Africa in 1992–93.

Though he began his first-class career as a left-arm spinner, he eventually turned into a batsman. He was a successful batsman in domestic cricket scoring three double centuries, including 313 against Goa, in the 1988–89 season of the Ranji Trophy.

He was a prolific run-getter for Tamil Nadu, scoring 7939 first-class runs. His prime came in the 1988-89 season when his run aggregate went up to 1018 runs, which surpassed the world record set by Rusi Modi in 1944–45.

He retired from all forms of cricket in 1999 after being axed from the TN Ranji Team. After retirement, WV Raman took to a successful career in coaching.

He has so far coached the Tamil Nadu and Bengal cricket teams in the Ranji Trophy besides the Indian U-19 team. Currently, he is the coach for the Bengal Ranji team.

In the IPL, he was the assistant coach of Kings XI Punjab in 2013 and the batting consultant of Kolkata Knight Riders in 2014.

Since 2015, he has been working as the batting consultant at the National Cricket Academy. In this period, he also played the role of a coach for India A, Duleep Trophy and Under-19 teams.

Background

Ramesh Powar, who till recently held the position of the Indian national women’s team coach, was eligible for a 12-month extension of his contract based on favourable evaluation by BCCI.

However, Powar’s contract was not renewed after his differences with leading Indian cricketer Mithali Raj came out in the open.

The controversy had erupted after Mithali was not selected in India’s playing XI against England in the World T20 semi-final, which ended with India’s eight-wicket loss. The issue became public through a series of leaked emails and ballooned into a major controversy.

Though Powar had shown interest to extend his association with the team, his application was not given a go ahead.

This is the fourth time that the women’s head coach has changed in the last 19 months after Purnima Rau was sacked just before the 2017 World Cup and Tushar Arothe resigned citing "personal reasons" very early into his two-year contract after the T20 Asia Cup loss against Bangladesh earlier in 2018.

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