Jhulan Goswami had simply checked into her room. It was the night of December 7, 2005 and for her, it was definitely A cheerful second. She had claimed her first 5-wicket haul as quickly as extrast England in Silchar that morning, guiding the Indian women’s cricket group to a convincing 10-wicket win.
Whereas she was freshening up, the intercom Inside the lodge room rang.
“Howdy Jhulan, That is typinamey a name from the BBC. Congratulations In your 5-wicket haul. We want to interview you over the telephone Inside The subsequent one hour…” a feminine voice said from The completely different finish.
Jhulan spoke to the ‘BBC correspondent from London’ for A pair of minutes After which referred to as up the coach and the group supervisor for permission.
And, an hour later, Jhulan was doing her ‘first-ever interview with the BBC’. Whereas the interview was virtually over, she heard somebody guffawing from The completely different finish, however Did not react. She accomplished the interview, walked out of the room To fulfill her colleagues and solely then did she realise That Every one this while, she was being pranked by her pricey frifinish ‘Mithu’ — Mithali Raj!
“Jhulu Might not think about That Every one this while she was truly Chatting with Mithali,” Sudha Shah, who was the coach of the group then, reminisces.
On their method again to the group lodge, Mithali And a few senior members of the group had decided to play a joke on Jhulan to make her first 5-wicket haul memorable, and Sudha, too, was An factor of the plan.
“So, as quickly as she entered her lodge room, Mithali referred to as up Jhulu, claiming to be a BBC correspondent. Back in these days, the know-how was not superior, You probably did not have a smarttelephone, so Jhulu think aboutd that she was truly talking to the BBC, the placeas it was Mithali who was On The completely different finish,” Sudha says.
“It was banter and the group was like one joyful unit, so such pranks have been taken in The biggest spirit. Mithali needed To current a shock to Jhulu and that’s why, All of us have been celebration to it…”
That’s Mithali Raj for you — A radical expert on The sector and a take pleasure inable-loving, cheerful particular person off it.
Mithali: ‘The selection to give up was by no means an impulsive or an emotional one’
Having watched her proper from her worldwide dehowever in 1999, Sudha admits that Mithali, By way of the years, emerged as an icon as a Outcome of she had The power to decide expertise And in addition construct a group. “She was a assured chief. When she broke into the group in 1999, she was the youthfulest member of the squad And actually shy. Whereas she was a powerhouse of expertise, she Can be calm and quiet, however progressively, she emerged as A pair of of the Wanted cricketers and properly so,” Sudha says.
The journey from Mithu to Mithali Raj wasn’t straightforward. Coming from a center-class household in Hydperiodbad, Mithali made her presence felt in junior-diploma cricket and finally earned a spot Inside the Indian group for its tour of England.
Back then, the group was led by Chanderkanta Kaul, who was Usually acknowledged as Chanderkanta Aheer in her take pleasure ining days. Chanderkanta fondly primarytain in thoughtss these seconds when a youthful woman joined the camp Collectively with the seasoned campaigners.
“For us, Mithali turned Mithu. Soon after, everyone started nameing her that. I knew her personally and had been to her house, met her father and he informed us to Look after his daughter,” Chanderkanta says.
By The objective Mithali made it to the group, Chanderkanta was 27 and had already spent six years Inside the circuit. So, for her, it was important to make the youthfulster really feel snug. “When she made her dehowever, I already had A lot of expertise, however she was the youthfulest on our group. She was very quiet and when she would bat, it seemed as if she was very calm, however inside there she had A hearth. We have been shockd Alongside with her batting, and we knew this woman will go far,” Chanderkanta says. “She was like Rahul Dravid, Nobody could get her out…”
‘Mithali seemed very calm however inside, she had A hearth’ – first captain Chanderkanta Kaul reminisces Raj’s dehowever
By her personal admission, in these days, women’s cricket solely had a supervisor and coach travelling with the group, and “there have beenn’…….