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Jhulan is the best

Calcutta: India pace bowler Jhulan Goswami was on Monday night adjudged the ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year, according to a media release. What made her honour special was the fact that Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the Team India captain for the ICC World Twenty20, presented her the award.

“It’s a dream come true for me,” said Jhulan. “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.

“There was no nomination from India in the men’s categories so it is even more special to do this for my country and make up for that disappointment. It was a wonderful pleasure to receive this award from India captain Dhoni as he is such a good player.

“This award does a lot for women’s cricket. I think women’s cricket is growing… We are getting more and more coverage now in the media and that can only be a good thing for game as it encourages more girls to take up the game and improves the overall levels of performance.”

The 24-year-old from Bengal has had a remarkable year, averaging 12.40 in Test matches and 21.80 in ODIs. Her accuracy with the ball is illustrated by her economy rate of 2.10 in Tests and 3.17 in ODIs.

Jhulan pipped Lisa Sthalekar of Australia and England’s Claire Taylor to the honour.

JHULAN AT A GLANCE

Name: Jhulan Goswami l Age: 23 yrs 288 days
Major teams: Bengal, East Zone, India, Asia XI
Bowls: Right-arm mediumpace
Bats: Right handed
Career figures: 33 wkts and 263 runs in 8 Tests; 96 wkts and 285 runs in 79 ODIs
Jhulan has formed a strong new-ball partnership with Amita Sharma. She is now the fastest woman bowler in the world, having clocked 120 kmph. She has worked with Dennis Lillee at the MRF Pace academy in Chennai. She has the ability to get the ball to bounce that extra bit every now and then, catching the batswomen by surprise. Vice-captain during the tour of England in 2006, Jhulan helped India clinch the Test series. She returned career-best match figures of 10 for 78 (five wickets in each innings) in the second Test in Taunton.

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