Jhulan: 'After first two games, I wanted the coach to drop me'

Jhulan Goswami, after wicket-less outings in the first two matches of the Women's World Cup, wanted the coach to drop her from the team. Then, she picked up 10 wickets in the team's journey to the final.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee (centre) and Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president Sourav Ganguly felicitate Jhulan Goswami in Kolkata.   -  PTI

With the Indian team’s Women's World Cup legend growing bigger by the day, seasoned seamer Jhulan Goswami has provided further insight into the famous campaign.

After being felicitated by chief minister Mamata Banerjee at the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) annual awards ceremony here on Tuesday, Jhulan said she offered to be dropped from the playing XI ahead of India’s crucial semifinal match against Australia.

“I was disappointed with my show early in the World Cup. After the match against West Indies, I told my coach Tushar, 'I'm not bowling properly and you can drop me.' He said, 'No, I want you to lead the bowling attack,” said 34-year-old Jhulan, who surpassed Australian Cathryn Fitzpatrick earlier this year to become the leading wicket-taker in one-day internationals.

Jhulan made a superb turnaround to pick up two crucial wickets against defending champion Australia and three against eventual champion England in the final, where India lost by nine runs.

Talking about the dismissal of Australia skipper Meg Lanning in the semifinal, Jhulan said, “Lanning is one of the best cricketers. Since Lanning was strong square of the wicket, I told Mithali (Raj) that (during practice) I would bowl to her like I would to Lanning and she would give me feedback. Luckily, everything went our way.”

Praising Jhulan for her feat, CAB president and former India captain Sourav Ganguly said, “Jhulan is the best fast bowler of India in women’s cricket. I want to see her keep performing.”

Hailing the Indian team’s runner-up finish, Ganguly said, “My mother last watched a cricket match when I played. Then she watched a match when you (Jhulan) played (in the final). What you achieved was remarkable.”

Apart from Jhulan, the CAB honoured 1989-90 Bengal Ranji Trophy winning coach Palash Nandy with 'Kartick Bose Lifetime Achievement Award.'

Prominent award winners: Jhulan Goswami (special award), Palash Nandy (lifetime achievement), Manoj Tiwary (cricketer of the year), Ashoke Dinda (best fast bowler), Mandira Mahapatra (best woman cricketer of the year), East Bengal (first division champion), Kalighat Club and East Bengal Club (first division super league), Bengal under-19 (Cooch Behar Trophy champion).