India’s search for a new women’s national team coach is officially underway as the Board of Control for Cricket in India issued an advertisment inviting applications for the post held by Ramesh Powar.

The feud between veteran Mithali Raj and Powar is likely heading to a close without any intervention from the administrators with the latter’s three-month interim tenure ending on Friday.

With the conclusion of Powar’s term, fresh applications have been invited by the BCCI for the job and in all likelihood, the former India spinner will not be considered even if he applies.

“His contract is coming to an end today and there is little chance that he will be brought back,” a top BCCI official was quoted as saying by PTI.

The Indian team has had its fair share of controversies and the latest one was triggered after Mithali was dropped from the playing XI for the World T20 semi-final.

Mithali alleged that Powar was “out to destroy her” while the coach countered her by saying that she threatened to retire on being denied the opening slot and threw tantrums.

Powar was appointed in August after Tushar Arothe quit following differences with senior players over training methods. After Powar’s imminent departure, it remains to be seen how T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur and ODI captain Mithali bury their differences.

It will be a massive mental challenge for the 35-year-old to put the past behind. India’s next assignment is the tour of New Zealand in January and under a new coach, the team would hope to steer clear of more controversy.

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“It will be interesting to see how Harman and Mithali get along after whatever happened in the West Indies. It is imperative that they get along well for the team’s sake. Otherwise, there will only be more issues in the dressing room,” said another BCCI official.

Harman has not yet spoken on the Powar-Mithali face-off but had defended the team management’s decision of dropping Mithali for semi-final despite her senior teammate scoring fifties against Pakistan and Ireland.

Mithali has already expressed her desire to sort out the differences with the T20 captain. “I am of the opinion that Harman and I are senior players and our issues, if any, should be sorted out by the two of us by sitting across the table.”

“As India’s 50-over captain, I value Harman as one of our best players and will always want to ensure that the two of us perform our best for India,” Mithali had written in a detailed explanation to BCCI when the controversy first broke out.

Eligibility criteria, according to a report in ESPNCricinfo:

  • Needs to be a Level C qualified coach
  • Should have played international cricket, or Coached an international team for at least one year, or Coached in a T20 tournament for two seasons, or Played at least 50 first-class matches

The last date for application is December 14, with the interviews scheduled for December 20, the report added.