Annesha Ghosh is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo
Ramesh Powar's tenure as India women's interim head coach has been extended till the World T20 in November in light of a time-crunch ahead of India's next assignment - in September - and a dearth of clarity regarding the Cricket Advisory Committee's (CAC) role in the selection process.
Powar, the former India offspinner, will remain coach till November 30, 2018. During this period, the team will tour Sri Lanka for three ODIs and five T20Is, followed by a T20I series and the World T20 in the West Indies.
With the side scheduled to depart for Sri Lanka on September 5, ESPNcricinfo understands that the extension of Powar's interim role comes as the most feasible stop-gap arrangement on the part of the BCCI. This, especially in light of the Supreme Court mandating the CAC's involvement in the appointment of the head coach of both the men's and women's national teams
Powar was handed the job on July 16, a week after former head coach Tushar Arothe resigned from the post in the aftermath of a fallout with some of the high-profile regulars. Soon after his appointment, Powar took charge of the national camp at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru, where all India regulars - save for T20I captain Harmanpreet Kaur and vice-captain Smriti Mandhana - participated between July 25 and August 5, while several uncapped players also featured in the mix.
Powar's appointment in the interim post had coincided with the BCCI inviting applications for the full-time role. On August 10, a panel comprising Diana Edulji, the former India captain and member of the Committee of Administrators, BCCI CEO Rahul Johri, and general manager (cricket operations) Saba Karim interviewed 20 applicants for about ten minutes each in Mumbai. While some flew down to the BCCI headquarters, a majority of them joined in via Skype.
Following the initial screening process, six applicants had been shortlisted. Powar had made the cut alongside former India women's captain Mamatha Maben, former India left-arm spinner Sunil Joshi, batsman Atul Bedade, India men's U-19 team bowling coach Sanath Kumar, and Rajkumar Sharma, who formerly coached Delhi's junior teams and India captain Virat Kohli in his formative years.
Maben, ESPNcricinfo understands, was among at least the five female candidates to have applied for the job. Others included former India wicketkeeper-batsman Kalpana Venkatachar, former New Zealand batsman Maria Fahey, former India women's assistant coach Suman Sharma, and Gujarat women's coach Rituparna Roy. Suman was also in charge of the Kerala women's team last season.
"I haven't received any official word from the BCCI," Maben told ESPNcricinfo. "It's only been the newspapers where I have been getting the updates from. But I feel if the selection panel chooses Ramesh to travel with the team to Sri Lanka, it only makes sense that he accompanies them to the WT20. There's not much time at the team's disposal, so Ramesh continuing from the Sri Lanka assignment to World T20 makes sense because eventually, it's the results that count."
Most of the India players are part of the three-team Challenger Trophy which is currently underway in Alur and are scheduled to assemble for a preparatory camp in Chennai in the last week of this month. They will be joined by Harmanpreet and Mandhana who are set to return from the UK next week following their Kia Super League stints.