Jhulan Goswami reveals why she does not play the WBBL

Jhulan Goswami is the highest wicket-taker in Women
Jhulan Goswami is the highest wicket-taker in Women's ODI cricket.
Kartik Iyer

Indian women's cricket team legend Jhulan Goswami has revealed that her love for Bengal cricket has made her forego a lucrative Women's Big Bash League (WBBL) contract.

She made this disclosure during an interaction about her glorious career on Sports Today.

Jhulan Goswami was asked by a fan why she is not seen in action in the WBBL. The lanky pacer responded that she get an offer in the very first season of the league and was very keen to participate in the tournament.

"First edition of the WBBL, I got an offer. So I was excited to go and play and experience the different environment and culture. We saw that in the IPL but that never happened in the women's game. So I was very excited and people like me who like to make friends," said Jhulan Goswami.

The Chakdaha Express, as she is fondly called, talked about her interaction with the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) secretary when she had gone to inform him about her decision to play in the WBBL. Jhulan Goswami said in this regard:

"The Australian season and our domestic season starts at the same time. So I had gone to CAB to meet the secretary and tell him that I am not going to play this season, as I got a good offer from Australia and wanted to play that tournament."

Jhulan Goswami then revealed that the CAB secretary told her that her absence would be a huge setback for the Bengal women's team.

"He told 'What, if you are not going to play this season, we are not participating. Who is going to look after the girls and our team will lose.' So I asked him if he was serious or just kidding," said Goswami.

The Bengal cricket administrator appraised Jhulan Goswami about her importance in the Bengal lineup and said that the team would participate in the domestic tournaments just for the sake of it if she was not around.

"He said he was actually serious and said - 'If you are not playing, there was no point having the camps because we believe if you are there, then we can win otherwise we will stop everything and they will go with one day preparation and play because they are not going to win. And we want to win the trophy and without you it is not possible.'"

"I cannot stay away from the Bengal team" - Jhulan Goswami

Jhulan Goswami has been a part of the Indian women
Jhulan Goswami has been a part of the Indian women's team for the past 19 years.

Jhulan Goswami revealed that she decided not to ply her trade in the WBBL despite repeated offers, as she wanted to mould the careers of youngsters in the Bengal team. She said in this regard:

"I thought about the girls who want to make their careers. So I told Sir that I will leave the WBBL offer and play domestic cricket. Since that time onwards, I decided not to go because every time the domestic season and WBBL clashes. And every time I get an offer from WBBL franchises, I just keep telling them no. They keep asking me about the reason (for my refusal)."

Jhulan Goswami signed off by highlighting that her love for Bengal cricket has made her ignore the lucrative WBBL contracts, expressing hope that the state's women cricketers would grow from strength to strength and carry on her legacy.

"There are a lot of friends who till today tell me to come and play at least one season of WBBL. But I cannot say yes to them. That is the reason, because I cannot stay away from the Bengal team. My heart is here, and I want them to learn the maximum when I am here, and when I leave this team, they should maintain this legacy and take the team forward," concluded Jhulan Goswami.

Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami have been the guiding lights of the women's game in India, carrying on the legacies of the likes of Shanta Rangaswamy, Sandhya Agarwal and Diana Edulji.

Although the duo has retired from T20I cricket, they wish to lead the Indian women's team to their maiden world title at the upcoming 2022 ODI World Cup.

Raj and Jhulan Goswami were also recently named in the ICC Women's ODI Team of the Decade.

Edited by BH
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