Jhulan Goswami: The Unswerving Hero of Women’s Cricket
On February 7th,2018, Jhulan Goswami became the first woman to take 200 wickets in the history of women cricket. Her performance on the day was nothing unusual; she had long been team India s most reliable bowler for the last decade. This astronomical feat wasn’t achieved overnight; in fact, Goswami had to face various challenges. Being an all-rounder, her batting skills are decent, but it’s her bowling which sets her apart from great legends like Amita Sharma and Mithali Raj.
Early Life & Career Beginning
Jhulan Goswami was born in Chakdaha, West Bengal India on November 25th,1982. She started playing at the age of 12. It wasn’t easy for her as people would often discourage her as people were not aware of the scope of women’s cricket in India. Her problems were made worse by the fact Chakdaha did not have good training facilities or coaches. Her parents also opposed the idea as they wanted her to have a more conservative career. However, all this not deter Goswami; she was resilient in her goal to become a cricketer. At the age of 15, she decided she would commute 50 miles every day to Kolkata to practice. That was the level of dedication Jhulan Goswami had at the tender age of 15, and it paid off as she was selected for the Bengal state team. She got her team India debut against England in a one-day international ODI match in 2002, at the age of 19. Her test match debut came on January 14th, 2002 and t20 debut in 2006 both against England. With solid performances from the start, The Indian team knew they had a gem on their hands.
Steady Growth & 2007 World Cup
In 2007 Jhulan Goswami achieved the feat of becoming the fastest bowler in the world, with a speed of 120km per hour. The same year she performed very well in the 2007 edition of the women’s world cup. Her tireless all-round performances along with good performances from Mithali raj dragged India into the world cup final. They met Australia in the final, who proved to be too strong for India. Her achievements didn’t go unnoticed and cemented her place in the Indian cricket team for years to come. The same year, she led India to victory against England in a Test series for the first time on British turf. The ICC awarded her the best woman cricketer of 2007, it was special because no male Indian cricketer got an award.
Captaincy & International Recognition
Jhulan Goswami was named captain of the ODI team in 2008. This was on the back of consistently good performance in ODI matches. Before 2007 Goswami was not known outside of Indian cricketing circles. After her 2007 ICC award win, she gained international recognition and was in the same category as MIthali Raj. Goswami captained the ODI team until 201 .she captained India for 25 ODI outings, including the 2009 women’s world cup, where India reached the semi-finals. She was awarded the Arjuna award in 2010. She received the Padma Shree in 2012, which is India’s highest civilian honor. Making her only 2nd woman cricketer receive the Padma Shree.
2017 world Cup & T20 Retirement
Jhulan Goswami was once again instrumental in India 2017 world cup campaign, where India reached the finals. It was a very painful loss as India lost by seven runs. She also got her 300th wicket against Bangladesh in 2018. She announced her retirement from the T20 format on August 23rd, 2018. Although she only played women’s T20 cricket till 2018 her record stands at 68 games played and haul of 58 wickets.
Jhulan Goswami has been playing for almost two decades, and her performances have rarely dipped. This has made her a legend in her own right. It put her at the same level as her contemporaries such as Mithali Raj. She has also inspired countless girls around India to pursue cricket. She has not only been a loyal servant to the Indian team but also became a public figure young girls can look up to.