As the first woman cricketer to bag 200 One Day International wickets, India’s senior pace woman Jhulan Goswami has proven that for anyone with grit and determination, sky can be the limit.
It was quite a revelation speaking to her when she was in Dubai to conduct a clinic for G Force Cricket Academy late last year.
Goswami’s journey to this height, despite hailing from Chakdaha, a remote village 68 kms away from Kolkata, is a lesson to those who give up on their struggle citing the circumstances. Unlike male cricketers whose milestones are all telecast live, her historic feat wasn’t even broadcast.
Goswami would be least disappointed with such bias because her mission has always been to perform to her best and not get affected by the lackadaisical attitude to any of her feats.
She took up cricket when women’s cricket hardly had any followers, there was no associated glamour, and women’s players could not dream of making money from the game.
It was her sheer passion for cricket that pushed her to go ahead.
During my conversation with her, Goswami spoke about her long train journeys every day from her village to Kolkata carrying the kit bag, and the numerous sexist comments from people as to why, as a girl, she was not sitting at home and planning to get married rather than playing a sport. Now by reaching the pinnacle of glory in women’s cricket, she has conveyed the message that the boundaries for women are much beyond home.
Sportspersons often succumb to adverse circumstances and then turn experts in finding excuses on why they weren’t successful.
Those who have given up and are planning to drop their mission should ask themselves that if Goswami could travel 125km daily to get training, why are they not able to motivate themselves despite all the comforts and facilities available in cities.
From the days when she was not able to afford a cricket ball, today she has done wonders with the ball surpassing women cricketers from England and Australia who are groomed with the best of facilities.
Goswami had also mentioned that since she had to travel so long by getting up in the early hours of the day, she used to sleep on the train — but the fact is that her mind was awake all the time aiming to reach great heights in the game. She has followed the saying: ‘arise, awake and never stop till the goal is reached’.
In Goswami’s case, it is unlikely she will stop. She is one of the shining examples of talent combined with perseverance and she has already set the bar high for future generations to get inspired with.