© BCCI

Purnima Rau (left) was one of the recipients of the BCCI’s one-time benefit of Rs 25 lakh. © BCCI

The Board of Control for Cricket in India have removed Purnima Rau as head coach of India Women with the 2017 Women’s World Cup just over two months away.

Tushar Arothe, the former Baroda left-hand batsman who worked with the India Women team as chief coach between 2008 and 2012, was named as Rau’s replacement, with the team set to travel to South Africa for a quadrangular 50-over series also involving Zimbabwe and Ireland, from May 7 to May 21, before the World Cup kicks off in England and Wales on June 24.

Rau, who played five Tests and 33 One-Day Internationals in the 1990s, was chief coach of the women’s team between February 2014 and April 2014 before being reinstated in July 2015.

After being one of the recipients of the BCCI’s one-time benefit cheque of Rs 25 lakh earlier this week for her contribution to Indian cricket, Rau was understandably upset with the latest development.

“I don’t know where I have gone wrong,” she was quoted as saying by Telangana Today on Friday (April 21).

“They have again sacked me without any reason. The BCCI did not have the decency to inform me about my removal as coach. I got to know from someone else. It is very insulting. There is no explanation and I am out. I have not asked for any contract and I worked with measly amount as coach of the Indian team. As a player, I was victimised and the same thing is being repeated as coach.”

Tushar Arothe

Tushar Arothe has been reinstated as the chief coach of the India Women team. © Wisden India

India Women have been in good form of late, having won the Asian Twenty20 Championship and the World Cup Qualifier in Sri Lanka this year to earn their tickets to the competition.

“I was preparing the team and we stood a good chance in the World Cup in England,” said Rau. “In fact, I would have quit after the World Cup as I wanted the new coach ready for the T20 World Cup, which is three years from now.

Also read: We will run this race together, cross the line together – Purnima Rau

“I was made the coach in 2014 in the Lanka series and then I went as a coach to the T20 World Cup in Bangladesh in 2015 [it was in 2014], after that I was removed. Sudha Shah took over as the coach for the South Africa and England series. The team didn’t do well and I was brought back against New Zealand and we won the series. We went to Australia and won the T20 series.’’

Rau blamed Diana Edulji, one of the four members of the Committee of Administrators given charge of running the affairs of the BCCI, suggesting that she might have played a role in her removal.

“She has been vindictive always,” said Rau. “With Diana being there, I expected a fair result as she played a fair amount of the game. She has never done any good for women’s cricket in the country. She was very vindictive even during her playing days.

“I gave them freedom to play bold cricket. I was willing to take the responsibility. Today I’m found unwanted.”