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‘2022 is the Goal Now But You Have to be Part of the Process and Play Matches Consistently and Perform’: Jhulan Goswami

Jhulan Goswami, the highest wicket-taker of women’s cricket, has set her goal to the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup. On Friday, the ICC announced the decision to postpone the 50-over World Cup to February-March 2022 which was earlier slated to take place in 2021. The decision came after a few teams raised concerns over lack of preparation due to the COVID-19 outbreak as well as keeping the current situation in mind.

“To play for India is the biggest honour. Yes, 2022 is the goal now but you have to be part of the process and play matches consistently and perform and then you can think about the World Cup because there is a lot of time left and it is not round the corner anymore,” she told PTI.

Jhulan Goswami appeals for the wicket. ©Getty Images

She further added, “We have got a lot of time for preparation, almost 18 months, but on the other hand, it would have been good if it happened next year as I was focused on that for long. Now you will need to think beyond that. We have not played any cricket in the past five-six months and players like me (who play only ODIs) played back in November (2019) as all teams played T20s ahead of the World Cup (2020) in Australia in Feb-March.”

The pace bowler told, “At this time, I can only think about the next series and performing in it and start from zero. I can’t tell you what may happen between now and 2022 as it is still far way.”

While the news will help all the teams to prepare for the marquee event as they didn’t play for the last few months, this certainly made things worst for the senior Indian cricketers like Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami. They both will be 39 when the 50-over World Cup takes place. However, the fast bowler backed ICC’s decision like her captain Mithali Raj.

“With the current Covid-19 situation, the preparation was held up,” she said. “If you are going to the World Cup you have to be prepared. You have lot of things going in the mind, combinations and ideas and you need time to try them.”

Jhulan Goswami shared, “On that front, we will get enough time to prepare but if Covid-19 hadn’t happened, we would have played the World Cup timely and it would have been better for us.. Having said that, we respect the decision taken by the authorities. It would have not been easy to create a bio-bubble for eight teams, hopefully, there will be a vaccine soon.”

Goswami, who has already retired from T20Is, last played an ODI in November 2019. And since then the forced lockdown has restricted her training to indoors for the last four-five months.

Jhulan Goswami
Jhulan Goswami. Images- Reuters/John Sibley

“At this moment, it is about getting access to the ground, hopefully, we will have a camp in September before the Women’s T20 Challenge, which is the next assignment we have. I have not been bowling at all. It is difficult in my surroundings as I live in a colony. I have been regular with fitness. Plus, the monsoons are also here and the ground is not available,” Jhulan Goswami explained.

While some of the Indian cricketers have started practising in the nets, Jhulan Goswami is yet to hit the nets.

“I have not been bowling at all. It is difficult in my surroundings as I live in a colony. I have been regular with fitness. Plus, the monsoons are also here and the ground is not available. Normally, we used the indoor facility at CAB in monsoons and played pre-season matches elsewhere,” she said.

Recently some foreign players shared their views over a possible clash on Women’s T20 Challenge and Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL), including Australian Alyssa Healy whose questioning on the timing led to an argument with the renowned journalist Boria Majumder. However, the highest wicket-taker didn’t take it well and slammed the foreign players.

“The fact that BCCI is going ahead with it is an achievement. It is only this time both events are clashing for the reason beyond our control. What the foreign players said is not right and ethical. It is BCCI’s decision for the development of Indian cricket and not any other country. If you don’t like the timing it is okay but you cannot question BCCI’s decision,” Jhulan Goswami concluded.

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