Jhulan Goswami retired from all formats of Cricket after a stellar 20-years of international career. Goswami finished with 255 ODI wickets and 355 wickets in total.
“With her retirement, it would be the end of an era in world cricket. The impact she has had in women’s cricket at the global level is immense. She has been a great ambassador for the sport and youngsters took to fast bowling seeing her bowl for India.”
As Mithali Raj penned down an emotional note on the retirement of her long-time friend Jhulan Goswami, it saw the end of Mithali-Jhulan saga in Indian Cricket. Raj, who herself hung the boots some months ago, along with Goswami scripted history for Indian Women’s Cricket that inspired thousands of girls from Indian households to take up the sport as their career.
For Jhulan, the journey that started from Chakdah, a town situated some 70kms from Kolkata, had a fairy-tale ending at Lord’s, the Mecca of world Cricket. Her final spell read 2/30 in 10 overs played against England in the 3rd ODI match of the series. With 255 wickets, she ended as the leading wicket taker among women in ODI format.
The end reminded the beginning as well. In 2002, it was against the same opponent that the then lanky 20-year old fast bowler from India made her debut. In her first match, Jhulan picked up two wickets, the same number as her last match, thus making the circle complete. Her Test debut was also against England and so was her first T20I. On the way she played 204 ODIs, 12 Tests and 68 T20Is.
Jhulan Goswami’s contribution to Indian sport is way beyond statistics. She came at a time when Women’s Cricket in India had minimal significance. Discrimination and differentiation- the two major factors ruled their Cricket. Still she stood in the storm, adjusted her sail and redefined her way to reach the pinnacle. It was her love and respect for the game that made her stronger with each passing day. Each ball she bowled revealed her strength, endurance and passion.
Take a bow Jhulan Goswami! Indian cricket will be forever indebted to you.