London, Sep 24 (IANS): In her final international match, legendary pacer Jhulan Goswami had the honour of doing the toss for India in their third and last ODI against England at Lord's alongside Harmanpreet Kaur. Though India didn't get the toss in their favour and have been asked to bat first, Jhulan was full of gratitude over her international swansong.
"When I started my career in 2002, I played my first series against England, and I'm ending (my international career) against England in my last series. And the most important thing is that we're 2-0 up in the series, that is the most important thing for me in this moment. Each and every moment (of 20 year career) has had a lot of emotions, a lot of effort put in," said Jhulan after the toss to broadcasters Sky Sports.
Jhulan reflected on the 2017 ODI World Cup final played at Lord's, where she picked three wickets while conceding just 23 runs in her 10 overs. But it was not enough for India to avoid losing by nine runs. Now, looking back at that final, she feels that it paved the way for women's cricket to be taken much more seriously in India.
"The 2017 World Cup, the way our team came back and fought (is the highlight). Nobody initially thought that we were going to be in a final. But the way we played in that tournament was something different."
"From there women's cricket in India slowly and gradually is picking up. And at this moment, we have our own path to motivate generations and young girls to take up sport and that they have an option with cricket."
Jhulan, who has taken 353 international wickets, 253 of them in 204 ODIs apart from 12 Tests and 68 T20Is, would be hoping to add more scalps to her tally later on and expressed thanks to people in her life who propelled her to have a long, illustrious international career.
"I'd like to thank the BCCI, my friends, my family, my coaches, teammates, captains. Everyone, thanks for this opportunity, this is a very special moment. I have to (keep emotions in check), I can't come with all those emotions onto the cricket field. As a ruthless character, I have to come out and play hard cricket and give my best (to go out on a high at Lord's)."