India women’s team’s fast bowler Jhulan Goswami has revealed that she had asked Tushar Arothe to “drop” her because she was unhappy with her performance after the first two games in the ICC Women’s World Cup in July. India finished runners up in the tournament with Goswami picking up ten wickets including three in the final against England.
Arothe stuck by her despite her request and the lanky pacer from Bengal was further supported by skipper Mithali Raj. “I was very disappointed of my show in the early stage of the World Cup,” she said after being felicitated by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at Cricket Association of Bengal’s annual awards ceremony at the Netaji Indoor Stadium. She was awarded Rs 10 lakh by CAB for her showing and a plaque as well.
“After the match against the West Indies, I told my coach Tushar, ‘I’m not bowling properly and you can drop me next time.’ But he said ‘no, I want you to be there and lead the bowling attack’,” the speedster added. In those two matches, Goswami failed to pick up a wicket while conceding 39 runs and 37 runs respectively.
The decision to put faith in Goswami paid off for Raj-captained India with the seamer taking the pivotal wicket of Australia skipper Meg Lanning who is always a difficult customer. By bowling her out, India went on to beat Australia by 36 runs in the semi-finals and booking their place in a historic Lord’s final. “Australia match was important for us. They are the best team in the world. Lanning is one of the best cricketers and very strong square of the wicket. I wanted to make sure to bowl in right areas. I told Mithali that I would bowl to her like I would to Lanning and she would give me feedbacks. Luckily everything went in our way,” the 34-year-old said.
Goswami also paid credit to Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) for the support and facilities available to women’s cricketers following her shift from Mumbai to Kolkata in 2005-06. “Their (CAB’s) contribution is massive. The first question that came to my mind was whether I would get the same kind of opportunities here. Preparation was always very important for me. Result won’t come without preparation. Most of the time we had the opportunity to practice alongside the men cricketers in Mumbai.
“I could bowl at the likes of Sameer Dighe, Praveen Amre when they played for Air India at one point of time. But now I’ve no hesitation in saying that I’m thankful to CAB for the way they have supported women’s cricket for last 10 years and created a platform.
“I am indebted to them and hope many more players come up in future. For last 10 years whenever I requested, the officials always provided me with practice facilities. I’m thankful to CAB officials and curator,” she stated.