Important to appoint long-term head coach for women’s team; not chop and change frequently: Jhulan

New Delhi, May 25 (IANS) Legendary fast-bowler Jhulan Goswami believes it is important for the senior India women’s team to have a head coach in a long-term period instead of resorting to chopping and changing frequently, citing the two global tournaments scheduled in the next two years.

The India women’s team has been without a head coach since Ramesh Powar was moved to the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in December 2022. The side then had Hrishikesh Kanitkar joined as its batting coach and reached the semifinals of the T20 World Cup earlier this year in South Africa without a head coach.

“The next two years are going to be crucial, with two major ICC events lined up: the T20 World Cup in Bangladesh in 2024 and the ODI World Cup in India in 2025. It is important that we appoint a head coach for a longer period of time and not chop and change frequently.”

“A team does not get ready overnight, and the role of a coach becomes crucial ahead of big-ticket tournaments. So, a dedicated support staff needs to be given enough freedom for the next two years. It’ll be unfair to judge coaches on the basis of just one series,” Jhulan was quoted as saying by Sportstar.

Earlier, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had invited applications for the role of India women’s head coach, with May 10 as the deadline for submitting the applications.

“The players and the coaching staff should be on the same page, and, trust me, it takes time to build a team as the players need to understand the operating style of a particular coach and then get used to it. Frequent changes leave the players confused. I believe the BCCI is thinking about a long-term coach, and I welcome the idea,” added Jhulan, who picked 355 wickets across formats for India, the most by any bowler in women’s international cricket.

Jhulan, who won the inaugural edition of Women’s Premier League (WPL) as bowling coach and mentor of Mumbai Indians, feels the tournament was a watershed moment for women’s cricket in India and wants a permanent window for the tournament to give players and teams more time to prepare for the five-team competition.

“The inaugural edition of the Women’s Premier League was a watershed moment for women’s cricket in the country. As several young, rookie talents proved their mettle on the big stage and bravely faced the biggest names in world cricket, it gave us hope.”

“Seeing the likes of Kanika Ahuja, Parshavi Chopra, and Shreyanka Patil compete against top overseas players was an assurance that the future of India’s women’s cricket is bright.”

“I am sure the BCCI will eventually look at a dedicated window for the WPL so that it attracts more players and also gives them a chance to shape up well. This time, the franchises did not get much time to scout talents, but from the next season on, the scenario will change,” she added.

Jhulan signed off by saying bringing U-15 and U-23 tournaments into the domestic women’s cricket calendar is a step in the right direction to unearth more talented cricketers.

“The Board started the U-15 tournaments last year, and it was a step in the right direction as it was the perfect opportunity to bring out the brightest of young talents.”

“Similarly, the introduction of the U-23 tournament is a great move. There are times when several players lose the plot after playing age-group cricket, as there is a gap between age-group and international cricket. That’s why the U-23 tournament will be crucial. It will provide the players with more opportunities and, at the same time, give the WPL scouts more options.”

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