Terming it as a 'raw deal', former international Shantha Rangaswamy told thatscricket.com in an exclusive interview that she did not subscribe to reasons - whatever - that necessitated the last minute swapping of the coach of the Indian team that recently toured New Zealand for the World Cup.
Rumour has it that Women's Cricket Association of India (WCAI) chief Anuradha Dutt was not satisfied with the way the preparatory camps were conducted, especially the fitness and running between aspect of the game and hence the change. However Shantha begs to defer.
" The Indian team's fielding and running between was as good or as bad as it was in 1997 when Srirupa handled the team," the former Indian captain said. "However, I was shocked that Sudha agreed to accompany the team as the Administrative Manager," Shantha added.
Reasons that players were too friendly with Sudha were found to be petty and stupid in Shantha's opinion as she let us in on the fact that in 1994 as the team coach she was left high and dry when she was sacked without having been given the logistics (word has it that it was for the very same reason).
"Respect doesn't mean maintaining a distance. In fact, the players were getting along well with Sudha. Players should be fully free to vibe and discuss matters with the coach.
"If stand up on the bench attitude is to be utilised then one might as well employ an army officer," was Shantha's lament.
Dwelling more on her unceremonious exit during the 1994 Australia series, she mentioned how while in Pune she overheard WCAI officials talking of her being replaced by Srirupa for the coming tour. She had then offered to withdraw with immediate effect, she however had not quoted the reason.
But she stayed back to complete the assignment heeding to requests from Anuradha Dutt, because having done so mid way through the series would not have reflected well in the press circles.
So in her opinion it is no surprise that Sudha was dealt harshly for Srirupa has, for sometime now, been the be-it-all in the eyes of the chief. She however felt Sudha did her self wrong in having travelled along with the team for she was completely relegated to the backstage and that was something that was hard to bear.