Former India offspinner Ramesh Powar has been appointed the women's team's interim head coach, a week after Tushar Arothe resigned from the post following a fallout with some of the high-profile regulars. Powar, who was approached by the BCCI on Sunday, took up the job after former India wicketkeeper-batsman and current Vidarbha head coach Chandrakant Pandit declined the offer last week "on the grounds of commitments to Vidarbha".
ESPNcricinfo understands the BCCI also approached former India left-arm spinner Sunil Joshi, who is currently in the Caribbean as the spin-bowling coach of the Bangladesh men's team. This, while the board had been preparing to invite applications for the full-time role, the deadline for which has been set at July 20.
With two and 31 appearances in the ODIs and Tests respectively, Powar, 40, will be overseeing India women's camp at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru that will be held from July 25 to August 3. He will be assisted by fielding coach Biju George and an unchanged support staff, comprising team manager Trupti Bhattacharya, trainer Afzal Khan, physiotherapist Tracy Fernandes, video analyst Ashutosh Dandige and masseuse Rashmi Pawar.
Asked if he is keen on applying for the full-time post, Powar, who has played 148 first-class matches, said he is yet to ponder the possibility. "I have not decided it as of now," he told ESPNcricinfo. "I don't know exactly what is the process till now. Let's see how the camp goes and what happens. I am happy with the responsibility I've been given. I will try to put my [best] foot forward to take the women's team ahead."
The camp - featuring all regulars save for T20I captain Harmanpreet Kaur and her deputy Smriti Mandhana, who will be joining Lancashire Thunder and Western Storm this week ahead of their Kia Super League debuts on July 22. This will be a build-up to a potential preparatory camp, in Chennai, ahead of the Sri Lanka tour in September. Building up to the World T20 in November, the BCCI is also keen on organising a Challenger Trophy - the second such three-team tournament this year - before a likely tour by the Australia A side.
Last week, Powar lost out to Mumbai wicketkeeper Vinayak Samant in the race to become the head coach for Mumbai's 2018-19 domestic season. In February, Powar had quit as the spin-bowling coach of the Mumbai Cricket Association-run cricket academy and had gone to Australia to train young spinners.
Meanwhile, the BCCI has laid out a "below 55 years" age criterion for applications for the full-time role of India's head coach, with the "coaching experience of a national team or a first-class state team" the minimum experience requirement. Personal interviews with shortlisted candidates will be conducted in Mumbai before further evaluation.