Recently, the Indian Women’s Cricket team emphatically defeated the English squad to register an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three match ODI series.
The celebrating Indian team and fans became emotional on hearing a shocking announcement. In a post-match interview, team India skipper Harmanpreet Kaur confirmed the rumours of Jhulan Goswami’s retirement from International Cricket.
Indian Captain Harmanpreet said, “Lord’s (match) will be very special for us with Jhulan going to retire”. The third and final match slated between India and England will be played in the famous Lord’s stadium.
The tall pacer, Jhulan Goswami will take one final walk to the 22-yard pitch wearing the Indian Blue Jersey as an active cricketer.
The ace Indian pacer has represented India for more than two-decades and filling her shoes will be a Himalayan task for the new players. Coming on the pitch for the last time, she will reminisce about her long illustrious cricket career.
A dream to play in the Indian Jersey
On 25th of November, 1982, Jhulan Goswami was born in a middle-class Bengali family, who just like most Bengali kids, was inclined towards football. However, the 1992 Cricket World Cup completely changed her life journey. The crazy football fan, Jhulan Goswami, grabbed the Cricket ball.
At the age of 15, she started taking her passion for cricket seriously. Further, the splendid performance of her favourite Australian batter Belinda Clark, in the 1997 Women’s Cricket World Cup, had a deep impact on her.
She made a firm resolve to play in the Indian Cricket Jersey and to represent India on the International level.
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However, coming from a small town of Chakdaha in the Nadia district of West Bengal, she couldn’t have the luxury to afford decent cricketing facilities in her hometown.
In order to accomplish her dream, she had to travel to Kolkata. After going through rigorous training and excelling her skills, she made her spot in the Bengal Women’s Cricket team.
Jhulan Goswami was a child prodigy who always impressed her trainers and kept climbing the success ladder without looking back. With her hard work and talent, she made her dream come true.
Scripting History is child’s play for the Indian pace maestro
At the young age of 19 years, Jhulan made her International debut in 2002. She played her first ODI match against England in Chennai.
On 14th of January, 2002, She made her debut in the longer format of the game against England in Lucknow. She demonstrated exemplary performance as an all-rounder who bats right-handed and bowls right-arm medium fast.
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She along with Indian batter Mithali Raj heralded Indian team to their first Test series victory against England in the 2006-07 season. During the same time, she displayed her capability as a handy all-rounder.
She single-handedly pulled India’s first victory against England. Coming as a Nightwatchman, she scored a valuable fifty in the first match at Leicester, England.
Later, in the next match, she let her bowling do the talking and scripted history. She became the first and only Indian Woman to claim 10 Wickets in a Test Match. In this Taunton match, her feisty spell bamboozled England batters. She claimed 10 wicket haul with 5 for 33 and 5 for 45.
WORLD RECORD 👇#OnThisDay in 2006, @JhulanG10 took 10 for 78 against England Women at Taunton.
Became the only Indian Woman to take 10 Wickets in a Test Match. pic.twitter.com/9io38P2aYf
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) August 31, 2020
Achievements and Awards
In 2007, Jhulan was a member of Asian squad in the Afro-Asia tournament in India. She also won the ICC Women’s Player of the Year. That was a pretty awful year for the Indian Men’s Cricket team until MS Dhoni led squad clinched the inaugural T20 trophy.
Later in 2008, she took the captaincy baton from Mithali Raj and led India till 2011. She led India in 25 ODIs. In 2010, the Indian government awarded her the Arjun Award for her remarkable performance and leading the pace battery for the Indian side.
In 2011, she received the M.A. Chidambaram trophy for Best Women’s Cricketer.
In 2012, she became the second Indian women cricketer to receive Padma Shri after Diana Edulji. In 2016, she topped the ICC Women’s ODI bowling rankings. In April 2018, an Indian postage stamp was issued in her honour.
In November 2020, She was nominated for the ICC Women’s ODI Cricketer of the Decade award.
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The Former India Captain Jhulan Goswami is regarded as one of the greatest women fast bowlers of all time and one of the fastest bowlers in the history of women’s cricket.
She is the highest wicket taker in Women’s One Day International cricket. She became the first and only fast bowler to scalp more than 250 wickets.
Greater the Stage, better she performed
She has played in Indian Blue Jersey in five different World Cups. Debuting in 2005, Jhulan represented India in the 2005, 2009, 2013, 2017, and 2022 editions of the ICC Women’s World Cup.
In March 2022, she became the highest wicket taker in Women’s World Cup overtaking the previous record of Lyn Fullston. She was part of the Indian squad that reached the 2017 Women’s Cricket World Cup final.
Unfortunately, England outplayed India on that day and missed the World Cup by a whisker.
In August 2018, Goswami announced her retirement from T20Is. Now she will bid adieu to the ODI format tomorrow against her favourite scalp, the England batters.
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The leading wicket taker in Women’s cricket, the highest International Wicket by any bowler, and many such achievements speaks volume about her incredible performance and value to the Indian team.
She will leave behind a remarkable legacy that will be hard to match, let alone surpass.
Sourav Ganguly – the Royal Bengal Tiger, made all the Bengalis hooked and booked to their seat and swayed them away from their lifelong passion of Football.
He led India at the time of turmoil and gave India a team which later went on to become the World Champion, lift the ICC Champions Trophy and many other International trophies.
He demonstrated how to dominate the hosting nation in their home turf. He led India to defeat major Cricketing nations in their own backyard.
Just like Dada, Jhulan Goswami led India to register victory on foreign soil. The God of OFF Side, Sourav Ganguly came back with a bang in the Cricketing fraternity.
India hopes that the Chakda Express Jhulan Goswami too will come back and serve Indian cricket for a long time to come.
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