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Stop the speculation, says Powar on equation with Mithali

Ramesh Powar, the India Women coach, has said that he wants to “stop the speculation” around how he is getting along with Test and ODI captain Mithali Raj in his second stint with the national team.

"I would like to stop this speculation (around) what is happening. We interacted well, otherwise I wouldn't have come into women's cricket,' said Powar, who had a bitter spat with Raj during the 2018 Women’s T20 World Cup.

"There are larger goals, bigger picture, a responsibility and an opportunity. This is a great opportunity for me, Mithali, for the whole group to take women's cricket to another level, where the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) is supporting us.

"I don't think we are going to go back on these small things, we are professional enough to move on and I think everyone should move on. I think you all know me, I have been with NCA (National Cricket Academy), I have been with (NCA head) Rahul Dravid, so you know Rahul’s effect will play in this series.”

Mithali Raj also requested the reporter who had asked the question to “move on” from the 2018 episode. "Can we move on from that? Because it has been three years, you are still stuck three years behind, we are in 2021, and we should be looking forward to many more series coming and if you are repetitively asking the same question, we need to get you back from the past."

Raj was also asked about Naomi Osaka withdrawing from the French Open citing mental health issues after refusing to interact with the media. She replied that she had herself not felt like pulling out of media interactions.

“Well, I think it is tough to be in quarantine for any athlete. But I think getting into a tournament, we do not really feel that. Personally, I have not really felt that I should forego a press conference because women's cricket right now where it stands, it needs media support and it is important for the players also to sort of try and help in the growth of the sport. So I guess it is important that we need to interact and promote the sport,” Mithali said ahead of the team’s departure to England, where they will be playing a Test match, three ODIs and three T20Is.

Featured photo: Twitter/BCCI

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