The young pacer pipped Lisa Sthalekar and Claire Taylor
Jhulan receives the award from M.S. Dhoni
I am very excited to win this award: Jhulan
Johannesburg: Pace bowler Jhulan Goswami became the first Indian ever to bag the ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year award making amends for the failure of her more illustrious male counterparts to make it to the list of nominees for the first time.
The 23-year-old pacer from Bengal pipped rivals Lisa Sthalekar of Australia and Claire Taylor of England at a glittering annual awards function on Monday night.
Jhulan received the award from Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Indian skipper for the World Twenty20 Championship.
“It’s a dream come true for me. I am very excited to win this award. It is very unexpected because the other candidates are great players. It is very special for me,” said Jhulan.
Jhulan said her award was more special because there was no nomination from India in the men’s categories.
“So, it is even more special for my country and makes up for that disappointment,” she said, adding “it was a pleasure to receive this award from Dhoni as he is such a good player.”
Jhulan had a bowling average of 12.40 in Test matches and 21.80 in ODIs in the year gone by and her phenomenal accuracy with the ball is illustrated by her economy rate of 2.10 in Tests and 3.17 in ODIs.
Her best performance came against England when she had a match haul of 10 for 78 (five for 33 and five for 45) in the second Test at Taunton. The excellent spell helped India score a five-wicket victory and with it a maiden Test series win in England.
She was also useful as a batswoman and her top score in international cricket came in England where she hit 69 in the first Test at Leicester.
“This award does a lot for women’s cricket. I think women’s cricket is growing, slowly. We are getting more and more coverage now in the media and that can only be a good thing for the game as it encourages more girls to take up the game and improves the overall levels of performance,” she said. — PTI