Every lightening star has a billion rays that travel all the way from the sun. Stars are beautiful but they shine because of the sun. In the life of a cricketer, the sun is the coach and the rays are the innumerable sacrifices made by them. For Sachin, it was Ramakant Achrekar, and for our latest guest, it was Swapan Sadhu.
The latest edition of Female Cricket’s podcast features the ace of Indian pace. Jhulan Goswami is undoubtedly one of the very few brand ambassadors of women cricket in India. She has seen the transition of women’s cricket in India but there are few people who have seen the transition of the fastest pacer to feature in Indian women’s cricket. Her journey was not as swift as her deliveries.
As a girlchild, it was wild on her part to think of something like cricket. Cricket and sports for her came ahead of everything and even studies. It was simple and effective words from her Grandmother that helped her persuade her parents. The cricketing journey for Jhulan came on the back of her presence in a women’s world cup final played between Australia and NewZealand.
She accidentally found herself as a ball-girl in the exciting match. A few months later things started in Swami Vivekananda Park. Her coach was Swapan Sadhu. She knew about the training camp from an alibi of hers. She remembers Swapan sir as a stern yet straight master. However, a few moments later in her conversation with Vishal Yadav, she revealed that he (Swapan sir) was very calm from the inside and cared for all the budding trainees. To inculcate discipline in the lives of students, Swapan sir would have a deadline. Anyone who failed to report at the time was not allowed to train for the whole day.
Jhulan, coming from the far countryside, remembered missing many of the sessions. There were many other girls from far off places. Swapan ran a full-fledged training camp for them. He would also care about their food and other amenities but the striking fact was his selflessness. He would never charge a single penny from any of the trainees. It was his sheer dedication and will that got Jhulan to the crown.
Once Swapan sir realized that Jhulan came from far away in the locals. He came to know from Jhulan that often her dad would not give her the allowance to travel. He, then, gave a surprise visit to the residence of young Jhulan Goswami. She was shocked to find him there but the coach, always disciplined, asked her to study and not waste the time. He went to the parents and made them understand what the future holds for the pacer.
Jhulan says that post his visit, she was active with her training sessions and there was not much resistance from her parents. Swapan asked for two years and later he gave Indian women its first premier pacer. It was the dedication, the discipline, and the guidance of Swapan Sadhu that makes batters fear Jhulan Goswami.