Mithali Raj: India batter ‘deeply saddened’ by claims about her

Raj has an average of 51.17 from 197 one day internationalsIndia batter Mithali Raj says she is “deeply saddened and hurt by the aspersions cast” about her after a claim she “threw a lot of tantrums” at the recent Women’s World Twenty20.Raj is the highest run-scorer in the women’s international game, but was missing for India’s semi-final defeat.In a report by coach Ramesh Powar to India’s cricket board (BCCI), which AFP says it has seen, he said he hoped Raj “stops putting her interest first”.The BCCI is yet to respond.Raj, 35, scored 56 and 51 in respective wins against Pakistan and Ireland in the West Indies but sat out a victory over Australia and the last-four loss to England.”I’m deeply saddened and hurt by the aspersions cast on me,” she said on social media. “My commitment to the game and 20 years of playing for my country, the hard work, sweat, in vain.”Today, my patriotism doubted, my skillset questioned and all the mud-slinging – it’s the darkest day of my life.”It was reported Powar had met two senior BCCI officials on Wednesday, a day after Raj had emailed the board about him.But Powar tweeted: “I was shocked to read PTI story about my meeting with the BCCI officials. I totally deny the contents in the story.”AFP says Powar’s comments came in a 10-page post-tournament brief for the board.It is reported he said: “I was saddened by her attitude and it gave me an impression that Mithali Raj comes first and then India. “She threw a lot of tantrums and created a lot of chaos.”

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