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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Jhulan Goswami becomes the highest wicket taker in ODI

Even the ardent fan of the game may not know or remember that the World Cup was hosted by India in 1978.  Yes, it was the second edition of the Women's Cricket World Cup, and came over four years after the inaugural 1973 World Cup in England.

It was originally proposed that South Africa host the World Cup, but this was abandoned to conform to  the sporting boycott of the country. The Women's Cricket Association of India (WCAI) then made a successful bid, and served as the primary organise.  Along with India, which was making its debut, five other teams were originally invited – Australia, England, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the West Indies. The Netherlands and the West Indies, which had both not previously participated, were forced to withdraw due to financial issues.  Diana Eduljee captained India.

Chakdaha is a prominent urban local body in the district of Nadia – Nadia being one of the southern districts of West Bengal. Located on the banks of Bhagirathi River, Chakdaha derived its name from its mythological past.

The Champions Trophy was imperiled with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)  threatening to invoke  the Members Participation Agreement (MPA) to pull out  after the loss of vote at the International Cricket Council meeting last week; all that appears to be sorted out for the moment.  But even before that a 15-member India women’s team quietly left  for the tour of South Africa to play in a quadrangular series beginning May 7 without any public announcement of the selected team members by the BCCI. The SA tour will be followed by the World Cup.

After beating Ireland Women in their first game of the tournament, Indian Women overpowered hosts South Africa Women to register a comprehensive seven-wicket win in the Women's Quadrangular Series.  The visitors won the toss and elected to bowl first.  They restricted South Africa to only 119 in 39.3 overs with Jhulan Goswami (3/20) and Shikha Pandey (3/22) sharing six wickets between them. Only four batters could manage double figures as the duo kept a tight line.

When Jhulan Goswami took the wicket of South Africa’s Raisibe Ntozakhe in the Women’s Quadrangular one-day match at Potchefstroom, she made history by breaking the world record for the most wickets in 50-over international cricket in the women’s game. Fast bowler Goswami, 34, surpassed the record of 180 wickets, previously held by the Australian fast bowler Cathryn Fitzpatrick for nearly ten years.

Fitzpatrick, in her time, was regarded as the fastest female bowler in the world. Therefore it is fitting that her record was broken by a player of similar pedigree. When Fitzpatrick retired in 2007, Goswami took on the title of being one of the quickest bowlers in the women’s game and has been India’s spearhead for years now. Standing tall at 5’11”, Goswami uses her height to generate good bounce. She is also known for her accuracy and ability to maintain that consistently over long spells.

Hailing from a middle-class family in Chakdaha, a small town in West Bengal’s Nadia district, Goswami started off by playing tennis-ball cricket with the boys.  She has grown a long way into breaking records and spearheading Indian bowling.   She has scored 2 fifties in her 13 Test innings and one in ODIs.  Though playing for one and half decade, she has played only 10 tests taking 40 wickets and in 153 One dayers, she has 181 scalps with a 6/31 as her best.

She won the Arjuna award in 2010 and deserves many more accolades.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

10th May 2017.

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