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!

Deepa Malik: The Strong and Fierce

Blog by: Raj Kishan

“She is free in her wildness; she is a wanderess, a drop of free water. She knows nothing of borders and cares nothing for rules or customs. ‘Time’ for her isn’t something to fight against. Her life flows clean, with passion, like fresh water.” These words are by Roman Payne, written whilst describing a strong woman, are in fact a perfect description for our pride, Deepa Malik.

India’s Rio Paralympics silver-medalist Deepa Malik can juggle many roles in life, a real all-rounder; A daughter, wife, mother, athlete and biker! Malik, now 47, she is the first Indian woman to win a medal in Paralympics Games and won a Silver medal at the 2016 Summer Paralympics in the shot put.

At the age of only six, Malik was first diagnosed with tumours in the spinal column that left her with no sensation in the lower half of her body. However, she recovered after surgeries and became an avid sportswoman, but only until her mid-twenties. In her late 20s, she felt weakness in the lower limbs. “Doctors said the tumour is back with a vengeance. They gave me 10 days to celebrate walking, after which they said they would scoop out the tumour,” Malik recalled in an interview.

“People write me off because I’m an upper middle class colonel’s wife, because my story isn’t one of poverty and because I’m in my 40s,” she said, and in many ways, Malik’s life has been harder because people saw her disability in a gendered fashion — neighbours and relatives thought she was ignoring her family duties, and regularly advised her husband to remarry. The naysayers were riding their horses and discouraging and demoralizing her.

But being the fight she is, she fought back! That wasn’t surprising; after all she comes from a family of brave men. She is the wife of a veteran cavalier Colonel Bikram Singh and daughter of a veteran Infantry Colonel BK Nagpal.

She has won accolades for her participation in various adventure sports. She is associated with Himalayan Motorsports Association (H.M.A.) and Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (F.M.S.C.I.). She has taken part in Raid De Himalaya, which is an 8-day, 1700-km drive in sub-zero temperatures which included a climb to 18000 feet. This journey covers many difficult paths including remote Himalayas, Leh, Shimla and Jammu.

She is both javelin thrower and a shot up player. Collectively she has won 51 Gold, 5 Silver and 2 Bronze medals at national level. She has 18 International medals; which includes; silver at Rio Paralympics in 2016, IPC Oceania Asian Championship, 1 Gold (Jav), 1 Silver (Shotput) in 2016, Incheon Asian Para Games 2014 – Silver medal in women’s 53–54 Javelin with a new Asian Record.

She has a long list of nation and state awards. Some of the major wards are:

National and state awards

  • President Role Model Award (2014)
  • Arjuna Award (2012)
  • Maharashtra Chhatrapati Award (sports) (2009–10)
  • Haryana Karambhoomi Award (2008)
  • Swawlamban Puruskar Maharashtra (2006)
  • Padmashri Award (2017)

For the silver medal at the 2016 Summer Paralympics Government of Haryana rewared her with ₹4 crore and ₹50 lakh from the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.

She is a member of the working group in the formulation 12th five- year plan (2012–2017) on Sports and Physical Education as nominated by the Planning Commission HRD Division on behalf of the Sports Ministry.

She is a true hero and a role model. So learn from her. Let’s end with her very inspiring and motivating words, “Keep thoughts positive, exercise your brain with positivity, look for solutions…life is a festival you can and must celebrate every day.”