The legendary veteran Indian fast bowler, Jhulan Goswami has announced her retirement from the shortest format of the game. The 35 year old pacer had featured in 68 T20 internationals and had picked 56 wickets.
Born in Nadia district of West Bengal, Jhulan is the highest wicket taker in Women’s ODIs and the first female bowler to reach the landmark of 200 wickets. She made her T20 debut against England in the year 2006 where she picked up 2 wickets in her allocated quota of 4 overs and conceded only 14 runs.
She has picked up 56 wickets at an average of 21.94 and an economy of 5.45 per over. Her career best in T20 was 5 for 11 against Australia. Jhulan has also scored 405 runs in T20Is with a top score of 37*.
Her last T20 appearance was in the finals of the Asia Cup against Bangladesh. She was expensive in her spell and conceded 20 runs from just 2 overs. She did not have a good outing at the T20 Asia Cup where she could pick up only 1 wicket in 4 matches and conceded 76 runs.
She was instrumental in the historic first test series win in England in 2006-07 season. She has many accolades to her name which include ICC Women’s Player of the Year in 2007, Arjun Award in 2010, Best Woman Cricketer in 2011 and Padma Shri which is the 4th highest civilian award in the Republic of India in the year 2012. In April this year a postage stamp was issued in her honour.
However, Jhulan had a forgettable outing at the recently concluded T20 Challenger Trophy where she managed to pick only 1 wicket and conceded 59 runs in 4 matches. Considering her last 2 T20 International series, her performance has surely been below par with the high standards she sets for herself. She picked up only 6 wickets in her last 8 international outings. Also, with the age not being by her side, it is now time for her to pass the baton to other senior bowlers and try and keep herself fir for the 50 over World Cup to be held in 2021.
Her retirement will now open the gates for bowlers like T P Kanwar, Krutika Chaudhari and others with the squad for the 5 T20 internationals to be played in Sri Lanka yet to be announced. With the T20 World Cup just a few months away, it will mean that the Indian team will have to do without the experience of this legendary pacer. Her presence in the dressing room would have been inspirational. However, considering her recent performances, especially in T20Is and with the ever increasing pace of the game, it seems like a good time for the youngsters to cement their place in the line up and achieve new heights.
Jhulan has always been an inspiration for the cricketing fraternity across the globe and post her retirement from the shortest format will now like to focus more on her fitness and ODI commitments. She will surely be remembered for her various feats on the ground and her role as a mentor to a young group of fast bowlers will be surely missed.