A couple of days ago, India announced their women’s squad, led by Mithali Raj, for the tour of England. The squad excluded Anjum Chopra, leaving the former India captain and Arjuna Awardee furious.
This is the second time in recent times that Chopra — who has had an illustrious career spanning 13 years — has been excluded from the squad that will play five ODIs and a T20 game from August 26 to September 9. She was also controversially dropped from the Asia Cup squad this year.
The selection committee meeting comprising chairman Anju Jain, Poornima Rao, Vrunda Bhagat, Mithu Mukherjee and Sandhya Aggarwal, picked the squad at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Banglaore soon after a conditioning camp in Mysore from July 20 to July 30.
“I was called for the 10-day camp at Mysore Infosys and there were no questions over my fitness or form there. Yet, I have not heard from any of the members and none of them is willing to give me a reason for my axing,” said Chopra.
“I am extremely disappointed. I don’t understand what have I done to get this treatment. There should be a reason why they dropped me from this crucial tour of England.”
Chopra also went on to say that she was being victimised. “I need to know if they are dropping me on the basis of my cricket acumen or personal rivalry.”
The squad comprises five spinners — Neetu David and Gauhar Sharma Sultan (left-arm), Seema Pujare (offie) and Priyanka Roy and Devika Palshiker (leggies) — and two wicketkeepers, Sulakshana Naik and Karuna Jain.
Furthermore, the inclusion of Rumeli Dhar, who underwent a knee operation in June, puts a big question mark on the selection process. Coach Shanta Rangaswamy refused to comment on the issue. “I was not part of the selection meeting and neither do I have any say in it,” she said. “I’m sure selectors must have picked the right team.”
With the World Cup in Australia only six months away and only one tour in the women's calendar after England, the exclusion of Chopra could prove a risky choice. Convenor of the women's cricket committee, Shubhangi Kulkarni and Jain were unavailable for comment.
The squad: Mithali Raj (C), Jhulan Goswami, Jaya Sharma, Karuna Jain, Sulakshana Naik, Hemlata Kala, Rumeli Dhar, Asha Rawat, Priyanka Roy, Devika Palshikar, Neetu David, Seema Pujare, Gauhar Sharma Sultan, Amita, Snehal Pradhan, Shanta Rangaswamy (Coach), Sandhya Agarwal (Manager)