For someone who made her international debut on January 6, 2002 and is still playing, we respect when Jhulan Goswami says, “I cannot talk about one particular city in England. This country is special for me as I made both my one-day international and Test debuts here. So forgive me if, I talk about a few places and not just one.”
“Oval is my second favourite ground in the world. Manchester has a lot of history. Birmingham has a lot of Indian supporters and it feels like we are in India every time we visit the city. Every city has wide range of Indian food,” she adds. By the way, did you know that Jhujan has played 255 matches?
Jhulan, who is the top-ranked women’s bowler in the world, shares some of her best moments from her visits to England in a conversation with OT, including the ‘ghost situation of 2017’. Follow Jhulan’s guide if you are visiting the country for the ICC Cricket World Cup.
“London is one of my favourite cities in the world. The vibe of the city is unparalleled and the people are warm and friendly. At the same time everybody minds their own business. Nobody disturbs you when you are on a walk or a run in the city. I visit the road side cafés along the River Thames, buy some food, a shake and enjoy the setting by myself. But my go to food in London is butter naan with butter chicken and some papad.
“Also ensure you visit the London Eye and take a tube just for the sheer experience of travelling in it. The tubes are one of the best train transportation in the world. Try the ‘Hop On Hop Off’ bus service to explore London,” she says.
“For shopping I would recommend the Oxford Street. I need two days and two big bags to pack all the things I get from Oxford Street. I buy shoes, dresses, jeans, souvenirs, perfumes, athletic wears while there. Even the souvenir shop at the Lord’s has a great collection.”
So, bring empty bags fans.
“The Derby side of England is so beautiful. When in England, we generally travel in luxury buses from one place to another. The buses have provisions for making tea, coffee and some snacks. While the bus makes a stop for refuelling, we would wander to catch a glimpse or two of the country side shops and buy some gifts. Derby has some beautiful country-side landscapes.
The team’s go-to restaurant is the Slice of India in Derby. The pani puris, samosas, and other chaat items here are out of the world. The pani puris in Slice of India are even better than the ones we have in India. The owner of the restaurant is an Indian. Slice of India is like a second home for us in Derby,” Jhulan says.
The Great Ghost Scare
“During the women’s World Cup in 2017, we were put up at the JW Marriott in Derby. Being one of the oldest hotels in the Marriott group, the property is surrounded by lush green parks and golf courses. The property also looks like a traditional English castle with yellow-tainted stones, old fashioned chimneys and windows. During out stay we heard the ghost rumours doing the rounds in and around the property. The rumours managed to scare a few of our players so much so that they started bunking in the other player’s room. Poonam Yadav, who is known for her strong mental abilities, knocked on my door and asked if she could sleep in my room. Now, when we look back at it we cannot help but laugh it off.”
India take on Afghanistan in their fifth match of the ICC Cricket World Cup in Southampton