Signs Off in her Last Press Conference

Jhulan Goswami Retirement
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Jhulan Goswami Retirement: Jhulan Goswami, a name synonymous with ‘quick bowling’ in women’s cricket, will play her final ODI at Lord’s on Saturday, and the Indian squad will want to make it a memorable farewell by completing a historic ODI series clean sweep on English soil.

She is a living legend who has achieved what ordinary people cannot even think of. Goswami’s journey from a tiny hamlet in Bengal to the highest level of cricket while overcoming many cultural and logistical challenges is one of the most inspiring stories we can hear. And, above all, what distinguishes the 39-year-old Indian great is the influence she made on cricket not only in India but throughout the world.

On the eve before her last international game, Jhulan in an online press conference opened up about her journey to the highest level. She said, “When I started, I never thought about playing for such a long time. It was a great experience that I’ve enjoyed and learned from.”

“Those days we used to represent the Women’s cricket association of India, and since 2006 we’ve been under the umbrella of the BCCI. It was a different feeling. I never thought about it… being from Chakdaha, coming back to train, and every day I was going two and half hours on a one-way journey.”

“Do training, come back and then again the next morning I’d go. I think the best memories when I first represented India – getting my India cap from my captain was an amazing feeling and bowling that first over in my career – that was the most important moment in my life.”

The World Cup held in 1997 in India made her dream and it also coincided with the dream of another legend, Mithali Raj. Together they have fortified the position of India cricket over the last two decades.

“The first time I saw the Women’s World Cup final was in Eden Gardens between Australia and New Zealand as a ball girl. And that day I dreamt that someday I might represent my country. That is how I started… put a lot of effort into my country and that’s the biggest moment in my life.”

About Mithali, she said, “From U19 days we’ve (Mithali) been playing together so we have a great relationship on and off the field. But it was just to bring the women’s Indian team to a different level – what it was before and what it is today is totally different. That’s the journey and we believed that we could change the face of women’s cricket, we believed that we could be a top 3-4 team in the world. It was not a one-day process,”

There are very few records that the legend has not achieved, talking about her accomplishments and regrets, she said, “I played two [50-over] World Cup finals, would’ve been great for me, India and women’s cricket if we could’ve won at least one of those. That was the ultimate goal. You prepare so much, put in a lot of hard work. We’ve played two-three World Cup finals, including T20, but weren’t able to win them. That hurt and that’s one regret I have.”

It will be a very sad moment for all the teammates around her and the fans but Jhulan said she doesn’t feel much for now.
“I don’t feel anything so far. Until I get on the field and play…a different feeling might come only then. At this moment, I feel very normal and enjoying each and every moment because I know after this series I am hanging up my boots so I am enjoying every moment. This young bunch of cricketers are all fun loving.”

She concluded on a remark that has elevated her to the pinnacle of stardom in Indian cricket. She was a difficult opponent for the rivals to handle because of her passion to do well for India each time she entered the centre. She also talked about how she changed over time from being a pacy quick bowler to an impeccable bowler.

“I was fortunate enough, I had very good seniors who handled me very nicely at that time. Coming from a background where I didn’t know anything about professionalism, I’ve learnt from them and it was an extremely good memories and till today I’m enjoying each and every moment,” she said.

“The best moment for me, getting out of the dressing room standing on the ground and singing the national anthem, that is an amazing feeling. And when you wear the jersey with the name India written on it, that is the ultimate feeling for me and that is a moment I always enjoy. That is the most memorable thing for me in my life and I always live with it, because every day I wanted to get up and represent my country,” said Jhulan.

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