Jhulan Goswami has claimed ahead of her retirement that the lack of a World Cup trophy in her cabinet is the only disappointment she carries from her glittering career. She went on to describe her journey to the top and how the World Cup final in 1997 made her dream of playing for her country.
Jhulan Goswami is all set to bring down the curtains on an immensely successful career spanning 19 years when she takes to the field at Lord's on Saturday for the third and final ODI against England. The 39-year-old represented India in 203 ODIs and scalped 253 wickets in the process, the most by any woman cricketer ever.
The last time a women's ODI was played at Lord's, the same two teams were involved with the occasion being the ICC Women's World Cup 2017 final. The hosts had ended up triumphant by nine runs, thus inflicting a second finals defeat to the Women in Blue after the side had come up short against Australia in the 2005 World Cup as well. Speaking on the eve of her final game, Goswami admitted not being able to conquer the marquee trophy gave her immense disappointment.
“I have played two World Cup finals but couldn’t win the trophy. That remains my only regret because you prepare for World Cup for four years. There is a lot of hard work. For every cricketer, it is a dream-come-true moment to win a World Cup,” the 39-year-old right-arm pacer said on the eve of her final international match,” she was quoted saying by Indian Express.
The right-arm quick had made her debut against the English in an ODI in 2002 and immediately impressed with figures of 7-0-15-2. Belonging to a small town, Goswami paved the way for women cricketers to dream big and fight their way to the very top.
“When I started I never thought of playing for such a long time. It was great experience. I am fortunate to play the sport. Honestly, coming from a humble background and a small town like Chakdah (in West Bengal’s Nadia district) I didn’t know anything about women’s cricket,” the legend revealed.
“My best memory is when I got the India cap and bowled the first over because I never imagined it. The journey was difficult as I had to travel for two-and-half hours by local train one way every day for training,” she added.
When the speedster was just 15 years old, India had played host to the women's World Cup and the final was held in Goswami's home state of West Bengal. The Eden Gardens had hosted 90,000 fans for the big occasion which eventually inspired the veteran to harbour dreams of playing for the country.
“In 1997, I was a ball girl at the Eden Gardens where I saw my first women’s World Cup final. From that day, my dream was to represent India,” she said.