India fast bowler Jhulan Goswami is playing her last international match against England at Lord’s. This will be an emotional moment for a lot of people including some of her close aides which includes the likes of Mithali Raj and Harmanpreet Kaur. While Kaur must have seen her like her older sister, for Raj, Jhulan was a close friend. Someone with whom she begun her international career. As she ends her long career, Raj, who recently called time on her own international career, wrote an exclusive column on Hindustan Times and revealed how she ‘first saw a lanky and slim Jhullu bowling’ in the inter-zonal U-19 match between East Zone and South Zone.
“I remember when I first saw a lanky and slim Jhullu bowling to me in the inter-zonal U-19 match between East Zone and South Zone with good pace. She got me clean bowled off the second ball she bowled. I had played for India by then and this girl from Kolkata grabbed my wicket,” she wrote.
She wrote further that Jhullu and Amita Sharma were part of her gang and they were always upto something.
“There was a time when we roamed here and there during a series without any security cover. Once I went to her house in Kolkata and I remember eating all Bengali food and sweets. Those simple times with Jhullu around will always be special.”
Goswami, 39, was named in India’s squad for the three ODIs in England.
Although she was not a part of the team in preceding 50-over series in Sri Lanka in July. It is quite evident that the team management had spoken to Goswami about looking to the future and welcoming younger bowlers who can represent the team across formats.
Goswami was last seen in action during the ODI World Cup in New Zealand in March this year. Reportedly, BCCI was keen on giving her a “proper farewell,” according to a board official, because “Jhulan couldn’t say goodbye on the field” after picking up a side strain ahead of India’s final group game against South Africa.
“With her retirement, it would be the end of an era in world cricket. The impact she has had in women’s cricket at the global level is immense. She has been a great ambassador for the sport and youngsters took to fast bowling seeing her bowl for India,” Raj wrote further.