How History Will Remember Ramesh Powar, the Coach Who Dropped Mithali Raj and Once Played for India

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How History Will Remember Ramesh Powar, the Coach Who Dropped Mithali Raj and Once Played for India

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

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ndia’s run at the Women’s World T20 came to an end in the semi-final against England, but the most talked about person in the post-tournament analysis has been a player who did not even play the match. Bonafide legend and India’s captain in the ODI format Mithali Raj wasn’t in the squad, and the fallout from her exclusion has cast a spotlight on a cricketer most fans of the game had all but forgotten: Ramesh Powar.

Remember him? The bit-part all-rounder most notable for being India’s answer to Inzamam ul-Haq, when it came to running between the wickets? You’d probably mistake him for a man who played gully cricket after a hearty Sunday lunch, but you can’t really blame Powar. This was the noughties and fitness in Indian cricket was as alien as consistency is to Australia today. Powar was never really popular, but he experienced a brief spell of relevance in the mid-2000s, featuring in a couple of Test matches and 31 ODI games. I combed through the recesses of my mind in search of a stellar Powar performance worth remembering, but came up short. In an era when Yuvraj Singh and Irfan Pathan were redefining the role of an all-rounder on the Indian side, Powar was the jack of all trades but master of none.

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