New Delhi - India cricket star Mithali Raj said on Thursday
she was "deeply saddened" by accusations that she threw tantrums and
threatened to quit before being controversially dropped during the Twenty20
Raj, the highest run scorer in the women's international
game and still India's one-day captain, was left out of the squad for last
week's semi-final loss to England, triggering a high-profile row with team
Coach Ramesh Powar blasted the veteran batswoman for
"blackmailing" officials, amid reports she had demanded to choose her
own batting position earlier in the tournament.
"I'm deeply saddened and hurt by the aspersions cast on
me. My commitment to the game and 20yrs of playing for my country," Raj
tweeted on Thursday.
"The hard work, sweat, in vain. Today, my patriotism
doubted, my skill set questioned and all the mudslinging - it's the darkest day
of my life."
Raj hit two straight half-centuries at the tournament in the
West Indies before missing India's last group game against Australia due to a
She was declared fit on the eve of the England semi-final
but selectors declined to bring her back. T20 captain, Harmanpreet Kaur, said
selectors opted to stay with the "winning combination".
Raj, 35, sent a fiery letter to India's cricket board
singling out Powar and other officials, accusing them of bias and claiming they
were trying to destroy her career.
Powar briefed the Board of Control for Cricket in India
(BCCI) on Wednesday about the behind-the-scenes tumult at the T20 tournament.
"I hope Mithali stops blackmailing, pressurising
coaches and putting her interest first than the team," Powar wrote in a
10-page post-tournament brief for the BCCI, seen by AFP.
"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."
The BCCI is yet to comment on the issue.