Mrunal Manmay Dash

Amid the controversy over the death of woman cricketer Rajashree Swain, Odisha Cricket Association (OCA) on Friday said that there were no irregularities in the player selection process.

Denying allegations, the CEO of OCA, Subrat Behera said, “While it is very sad that a promising OCA registered player is no more, as far as the allegations of irregularities are concerned, the process is transparent to the core. Every selected member's performance is uploaded on our website and the mobile app for everybody to see.”

“OCA is a professional organisation and players are selected according to their performance. Rajashree was selected in the 25 member squad. But she missed out from the final list of 16,” Behera said.

Asked about her future prospects and whether she was depressed for not qualifying, Behera said, “The selection camp was held for just three matches. Next selection is due soon. So she had all the chance to get qualified in the subsequent camps. In fact, Rajashree was part of the Odisha T20 squad. But this time around, she did not perform well, so she was excluded from the list. They cannot hold us responsible for her death just because she was not selected in the Odisha team. A lot of other girls were not selected as well.”

The family of Rajashree Swain alleged that the OCA and her coach, Pushpanjali Bannerjee are responsible for her death. "My daughter was killed and hanged by the OCA," her father had alleged.

Similarly, Rajashree's sister said, “The OCA and coach Banerjee are responsible for my sister’s death. We also suspect a bigger mystery in this. If she was under stress, she would have come home or taken her life somewhere else. Why did she choose such a dense forest? What was done to her that she could not bear?”

The 22-year-old woman cricketer, who had gone missing under mysterious circumstances, was found hanging from a tree in a dense forest near Athagarh in Cuttack district on Friday.

(Reported By Debasish Mohanty, OTV)