It was the 1997 Cricket World Cup final between Australia and England at Eden Gardens which inspired Bengal-born Jhulan Goswami, who was one of the ball girls in the match, to dream about playing for India. (More Cricket News)
Jhulan Goswami chose her goal but she had to deal with similar problems as faced by any other Indian girl in her era who wanted to do something that was not very common with their gender or wasn’t welcomed by the patriarchal society back then.
Jhulan found it hard to convince her parents, but the backing of coach Swapan Sadhu saw the family eventually supporting her. The rest is history as the player grew in ranks to become one of the legends of the game.
Jhulan Goswami, who has earned plenty of accolades - including the Arjuna and Padma Shree awards - thinks it is now her time to give it back to women’s cricket.
The right-arm pacer, who is the leading wicket-taker in the women’s ODI with 245 scalps to her name, feels that women in India are questioned for everything they do and hence the uplifting of women’s game in the country’s is something that “really matters” to her.
“In a country like India, there is a question mark over everything women do. To me it really matters to be able to lift the women's game in my country, and that feeling has always been inside me. It's a space occupied by nothing but you and that pure passion for your dream. There's an element of naivety to it,” Jhulan Goswami told ESPNcricinfo in an interview.
Meanwhile, the 39-year-old fast bowler feels that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) needs to make some changes in what is being followed in the women’s domestic cricket. She feels fast bowlers need some more security and backing so that they don’t switch to spin during hardship.
“The domestic cricket culture needs to change slightly. Things have improved with the BCCI's help, but we could do more. You have to back pacers more and give them more opportunities, on better surfaces, to showcase their skills and hone them. I think pushing them into a corner, where they're forced to consider switching to spin, is not ideal," Jhulan said.
Jhulan Goswami is also one of the players of the 15-member squad that will be representing India at the upcoming ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup in New Zealand, starting March 4.