Jhulan Goswami: 200*

Blog by: Raj Kishan

She is 5 feet 11 inches tall, 120 km/ hr bowling, and No.25 jersey wearing great Indian all rounder from our own India: She is Jhulan Goswami. Jhulan Goswami became the first women bowler to get 200 wickets.

Jhulan, 35, was born in Nadia, West Bengal. She comes from a middle class family. Former football fan, Goswami, took up cricket at the age of 15. Although she had her first encounter with cricket when she saw the 1992 Cricket World Cup, but what, left an impression on her was Belinda Clark’s victory lap after Australia vs. New Zealand 1997 Women’s World Cup final. Cathryn Fitzpatrick, former Australian Women’s team bowler, was one of the reasons she decided to pursue a career in cricket. Watching the former pacer in action with cricketing greats like Belinda Clark and Debbie Hockey, she decided to take up cricket more seriously. Coincidentally, When Fitzpatrick retired in 2007, Goswami took on the title of being the quickest bowler in the women’s game.

Gozzy, as she is called by her teammates, is known for her accuracy and ability to maintain that consistently over long spells. She uses her height to generate good bounce. But it hasn’t been easy. She used to wake up at 4:30 in the morning to catch the local train and reach the practice session. She lives 80 km away from Kolkata, where the practise session took place. Many times she missed the train and couldn’t make it to the practise but she never gave up. Like other Indian parents, Jhulan’s parents’ too wanted her to concentrate more on studies than cricket.

Then there are always sexiest “well-wishers.” “I was asked aren’t you ashamed to play cricket?” Jhulan said in an interview. “My first brush with sexism came as a child in Chakdaha, West Bengal, when boys of a nearby locality refused to play with us seeing a girl in our team. That was the first time I felt belittled.” Well are you now? I am pretty sure they’ll be eating their words now.

Indian spearhead, debuted at the International stage in the year 2002 at the age of 19. She was given Indian captaincy in 2008 and in 2010 World Cup earned India the third place. She held the captaincy till 2011. She is also quite a handy batter known for hitting big sixes.

Career Statistics:

Competition WTest WODI WT20I
Matches 10 166 60
Runs scored 283 995 329
100s/50s 0/2 0/1 0/0
Top score 69 57 37*
Balls bowled 1,972 7,925 1,037
Wickets  40 200  50

Honours and Awards:

  • 2007 – ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year
  • Captain of Indian Women’s Cricket Team (2008–2011)
  • Fastest Bowler
  • 2010 – Arjuna Award
  • 2012 – Padma Shri 
  • Leading International Wicket Taker

On 19th September 2017 it was revealed that a biopic on Jhulan Goswami is in the making with the working title ‘Chakdaha Express.’ It will be directed by Sushanta Das, it will showcase Jhulan’s journey from the Vivekananda Park nets in Kolkata to the Lord’s cricket ground in London, where India lost the World Cup final against England in July, 2017.

Jhulan’s story is the story of grit and determination. It shows the girl power. It is the time of women. So, Go Girls! Show what you got!