The acrimonious end to coach Ramesh Powar's tenure Monday split the Indian women's cricket team with T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur and her deputy Smriti Mandhana demanding his return despite senior player Mithali Raj's fallout with him.
Committee of Administrators (COA) chairman Vinod Rai told PTI that Harmanpreet and Smriti have backed Powar to continue as coach till 2021. Powar's interim tenure ended on November 30 and the BCCI has already invited fresh applications for the job. Powar is free to re-apply.
"Yes, they have written a letter stating that they want Ramesh Powar to continue," Rai said.
Powar's term ended a week after India lost the semifinals of the World T20 to England. The team management dropped Mithali for the knock-out fixture, triggering a huge controversy.
Mithali went on to accuse Powar and COA member Diana Edulji of trying to destroy her and having a bias against her.
Powar, on his part, accused Mithali of threatening to retire midway into the World T20 after being denied the opening slot and creating chaos in the team.
On Monday, things became more dramatic with Harmanpreet throwing her weight behind the former spinner.
In the letter, which is also addressed to BCCI office-bearers, Harmanpreet and Smriti said the team has improved significantly since Powar was appointed a full-time coach in August.
The deadline for applying for the coach's job ends on December 14 and the BCCI is looking for a high-profile candidate to fill the vacancy.