India's first women's cricket captain and member of the panel that picked the new coach, Shantha Rangaswamy feels the issue of women's cricket has been used to attack her former teammate Diana Edulji, the dissenting COA member has said.
The 64-year-old Rangaswamy, who played 16 Tests and 19 ODIs for India, was part of the three-member committee that chose W V Raman as the new women's coach on Thursday.
The entire process was marred by a war of words between Committee of Administrators (CoA) chief Vinod Rai and Edulji. While Edulji wanted incumbent Ramesh Powar to continue, Rai advocated the initiation of a fresh process as Powar's interim tenure had ended last month.
Edulji, who was accused of bias by ODI captain Mithali Raj following a bitter fallout with Powar, said Rangaswamy has backed her in an email that was sent to the COA as well as BCCI secretary Amitabh Choudhary.
"Shantha Rangaswamy has also on an e-mail addressed to us and the Acting Secretary mentioned that the issue of women's cricket was used to attack the COA member because of the stand she took against the CEO," she alleged.
Edulji said the entire issue of women's cricket has been raised in a manner to divert attention from the alleged sexual harassment case involving BCCI CEO Rahul Johri.
Johri resumed charge last month after two members of the three-strong probe panel ruled the sexual harassment matter in Johri's favour.
While Rai was satisfied with the report submitted by the the probe panel, Edulji remains firm on her stance that Johri should step down.
Two days after Johri was cleared, the Indian women's team lost to England in the semifinals of the World T20 with senior player Mithali Raj dropped for the crucial knock-out fixture.
A month later, the COA is divided more than ever after Raman was appointed as the new coach, replacing Powar.
"...you have used the women's cricket as a diversonary (sic) tactic to take the heat off the CEO's sexual harassment allegations and made a big deal out of a non issue. This is once again a big dent on women's cricket in particular and BCCI at large," wrote Edulji to Rai after Raman was appointed in a late-night development on Thursday.